Living Seed new prices, and Vendor Info

(From a 4/26/17 allstaff email)

Good morning, all of you who interact with sales at the registers

I just adjusted the pricing on the seed packets, fyi. They were $3.95 but are now $4.95. It's automatic in the register, whether you scan or key them in, so it takes no special awareness on anybody's part. I took the sign off the wall next to the seeds to have it re-priced, but if anybody is aware of other signage relating to seeds, please speak up!

Useful info about the company, just for your personal knowledge as well as for explaining the price:

The Living Seed Company is a small cottage business. It's literally just a couple who work out of their home up in Olema (Point Reyes). We love the small and local! They specialize in organic and heirloom varieties, and it's well worth the price for the uniqueness of the offerings. Their mission statement is "We're dedicated to the preservation of the genetic diversity in our food chain through the distribution and growing of open-pollinated seeds and educating about the life affirming art of seed saving."

Thanks, all!


1/26/17 New Vendor Availability Format (how-to)

If you haven't noticed yet, the Employee Home Page has been refreshed with a new look. One of the exciting new features is Vendor Availability Lists!

On the Availabilities page, you will see names of vendors. Each listing spells out frequency of ordering, and details about timing, deadlines, and plants they grow.

You can click any vendor name to be taken directly to their availability list.

YOU CAN ALSO SEARCH FOR A PLANT among EVERY vendor now, without having to flip pages! On the Availabilities page, if you click the header instead of a vendor name, it will take you to the Main Page of the availabilities documents. Instructions are spelled out on that page as well as here: Hit "CTRL H" and a dialog box will pop up. Type a plant name, as vague or as specific as you need ("Agave" or "Agave att nova"). Hit Enter key. If the plant is available, it will highlight on the corresponding availability. Keep hitting Enter to see all instances of that search, on all vendor pages. It will move from page to page with each Enter.

This will soon replace the binders. This feature is available from any computer, in-house or not.


1/26/17 Info on pottery labels not adhering

Hello Everyone,

We just received some pallets of Tuscan Sun pottery from Pacific Home & Garden.  The beautiful variations in the glaze and shapes can be very confusing to identify when the tags fall off and the tags fall off frequently.  The receiving team is helping us reduce confusion by writing on the inside of the pots the item #, color code and size codes.  For example for item PHGPV2227GPHA will be written as "2227GPHA".  This is enough information to identify and do a search in CP for reprinting tickets or when selling.  Thanks for listening.

Cheers to reducing confusion and an improved inventory in 2017.


12/29/16 Udate on Edible Plants and Taxes

Hi Everybody

We've been working on the taxability issue surrounding food plants. Thank you all for input on this to make it happen! The great news is.... the time is here!

Starting with the New Year, any edible plant will scan with no sales tax. You should see absolutely no difference in your process as cashiers, merchandisers, receivers, etc. When you scan items, taxes will ring correctly.

This includes all obvious food-producing plants (veggies, herbs, fruit trees), as well as seeds for edible plants, food-specific fertilizers (Tomato and Veggie Food, Citrus Food...), and even a few not-so-obvious plants like Aloe vera.

The only part that will require some cashier attention is in ringing 4-inch plants. If the pot does not have a barcode to scan, you'll need to ring manually. The change here is that non-edible plants will ring as always (4395, 4495, etc), but EDIBLE plants will ring under new codes 8395, 8495, etc. (Think 8 as in "ate" when ringing edibles.) I expect that all 4in plants will have working barcodes in the coming weeks, so this will become less of a challenge.

Seeds also have been split between two different SKUs for edible-plant seeds and non-edible. I activated all the barcodes, so if you scan it will ring correctly.


Thanks, all!

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask! I've also given more thorough details to the trainers.

Intro 11/22/16 (update on new boutique vendors and 4in plants)

Hey, everybody!

I'm going to start sending out a monthly(ish) "newsletter", as it were, with news from the buyers, to keep you updated on exciting new items or vendors, and noteworthy info.

"Slow Season" Buying

In the world of plants, we're well into the time of year we call the "slow season". In reality, this is more of a shift in sales from outdoor plants to indoor plants and boutique, than it is a true slowdown. The primary focus over the winter months becomes holiday items and giftables (basically, everything inside the building). We'll continue to receive orders for Accent Decor, Bloomingville, etc.

If this is your first cold season with us, you'll notice that we start to get a little heavier in conifers and evergreen plants as the flowering plant options diminish temporarily. The big exciting return to color starts in Feb when the maples arrive from Oregon.

Many of our vendors take time off around the holidays, like we do ourselves. A notable one this year is Suncrest, who will be closing from 12/23 thru 1/17. Whenever we're made aware of such vendor closures, we're making a point of plotting it on the Incoming Calendar.

In general, we're not ordering plants as frequently. EWT, which we're used to being weekly most of the year, will drop to 2-3 deliveries a month. Monterey will skip a week or two at a time. Because of the change in frequency, we try to "bulk up" on some of the bestsellers, like Lomandra and agaves, to keep a nice variety on hand and to reduce the necessity of "special orders" as much as we can.

Please continue to use all the same tools for taking Customer Orders. We'll handle them all the same as always in terms of setting realistic dates, but know that same-week turnarounds will be less possible this time of year.

New Plant Sources

We're also actively trying to resolve the dearth of buxus. I'm looking at pricing from a couple of vendors, with the aim of having a more consistent supply in the future. The prime candidates so far also offer all the trees that don't appear on our regular availabilities (olives and ginkgo in big sizes, for example), so I'm hoping to be able to build confidence in Customer Ordering for these types of big plants.

Four-Inch Plants
This will be an ongoing upgrade for a bit still, but progress is being made. You should be able to scan all 4" plants from Blooms, and the Suncrest/Monterey plants with barcodes are mostly up and running.

The idea is to improve efficiency. If, when you're ringing up a customer and sorting their 4", it's easier for you to scan than to key-in "4495", then please do. If keying is better for you personally, go with it. The feedback I got from those of you I questioned is that scanning would be a huge improvement.

We're working with all our 4" suppliers to start pricing the plants for us, so that we don't have to price them manually and so that the price stickers don't wash off. Regardless of barcodes, this process is nearly complete with all the vendors who will do it for us. Yay! Soon, you'll start seeing vendor-applied labels on succulents as well.

They're here at last! Pricing and merchandising is under way. Yes, our discount applies on ornaments. You know you want them. :)

New Handmade Pottery
Phui has been bringing in some new handmade pottery, all Cali local:
Mt Washington Pottery - Handmade in LA by Beth Katz. You'll see bells and a variety of pots with carving and handles.
BD Pottery - Handmade locally by Bob Dinetz, who shares a firing studio with Julie Cloutier (another line of handmade pottery that we've been selling for a few months).

Other New/Returning Boutique Items
Aside from the ornaments, we also have the Woolrich woolen blankets, Hansa real-life plushies (has anybody else been startled by what they thought was Phui's dog peeking out of a box in the backstock?), three versions of the 2017 Moon calendars, new indoor/outdoor rugs from Dash & Albert, and new totes/baskets from Dharma Door. Check it out!

We appreciate everyone's adaptability during these past few months of changes in the buying team, and understand the confusion and challenges that have arisen in the process. Things are starting to smooth out quite noticeably, and will continue to do so! Thanks for the hard work, and please keep the questions and suggestions coming. :) And have a great Thanksgiving!

Zann and Phui