Jan 20, 2021
A Learning Experience in Spite of the Pandemic By Tim Hodson

The challenges of the 2020 pandemic created untold challenges (and opportunities) for our industry. Resourceful growers and retailers found innovative ways to respond to these challenges and meet the increased consumer demand for their products.

College students looking to participate in horticulture internship programs last year weren’t as lucky as many of these programs were canceled due to the coronavirus. 

However, Joy Johnson, a horticulture student studying at Michigan State University, was one of the forunate ones because she had an opportunity to complete an internship at Pleasant View Gardens (PVG) in Loudon, New Hampshire.

After spending her summer in New Hampshire at one of the founding partners of the Proven Winners brand, Joy was named the 2021 GPN/Nexus Intern of the Year.

Joy really enjoyed her experience and working with everyone at PVG in spite of the pandemic. She said the company did a great job protecting its employees, making sure they wore masks and always checking on their health. She wishes she could have spent even more time picking the brains of her supervisors and managers to learn as much as possible about their research, products and processes.

Joy’s internship experience is featured in the January issue of GPN. You can read all about her internship by clicking here.

Don’t Forget

Time is running out  to nominate someone for GPN’s 40 Under 40 Class of 2021. If you’d like to nominate someone, click here to go to the nomination page.

— Tim


Albertsons Debuts Automated PickUp Kiosk

Albertsons Companies has introduced an automated and contactless grocery PickUp kiosk at one of its Jewel-Osco stores in Chicago, Illinois. The automated, temperature-controlled kiosk, created by Cleveron, provides a contactless pickup experience. Customers who select the “Kiosk PickUp” option will be offered two-hour time slots to pick up their groceries. When customers arrive at the kiosk, they scan a code on their phone and their purchases are robotically delivered to the front of the unit for pickup. The unit features two temperature zones—regular and a deep freeze. The company plans to install a second unit at a Bay Area Safeway in the near future.

Lowe’s CEO Finds Right Tools to Build Company’s Future

Lowe’s CEO Marvin Ellison takes great pride in how far the company has progressed over the past couple of years. Speaking last week at a virtual fireside chat during the National Retail Federation’s “Retail’s Big Show,” Ellison compared the home improvements retailer’s growth to the construction of a home.  “It starts with a really stable and solid foundation.” He said for the company to be effective in today’s retail landscape you must have a robust labor management system, a strong and stable IT infrastructure, the flexibility of e-commerce and the right products “that speak to customers from a value and quality perspective.”

Walmart Expands Financial Service Offerings

Last week, Walmart announced the creation of a new financial tech startup designed to develop and offer modern, innovative and affordable financial solutions to customers and associates. The new company is a strategic partnership with financial tech investment firm Ribbit Capital. The venture will bring together Walmart’s retail knowledge and scale with Ribbit’s expertise to deliver tech-driven financial experiences tailored to Walmart’s customers and associates. The retailer will continue to serve customers through its existing financial services and partnerships with a number of third parties, including Walmart Credit Card, check cashing, money transfers, installment financing and more.

Tim Hodson

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GPN recognizes 40 industry professionals under the age of 40 who are helping to determine the future of the horticulture industry. These individuals are today’s movers and shakers who are already setting the pace for tomorrow.