Necessity drives innovation: How Echter’s Garden Center is meeting COVID-19 challenges

Pinnacol policyholder and 50-year-old Arvada garden center, Echter’s, has rapidly adapted their operations with digital technology and thoughtful social distancing practices to continue business during COVID-19. 

Traditionally, steady business for garden centers starts in April and lasts until July. Many of these businesses depend on their spring and summer revenue to survive. 

With the business and social distancing regulations put in place due to the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), traditional business operations proved impossible for garden centers. 

Pinnacol policyholder and 50-year-old Arvada garden center, Echter’s, met the challenge by rapidly adapting their operations with digital technology and thoughtful social distancing practices. 

Julie Echter, assistant store manager, shared Echter’s transformative experience with 303 Magazine:

“‘We basically scrapped everyone’s job titles and departments and merged into one big team. Everyone had to learn how to pull orders, enter orders in our system, and run orders out to cars. We came up with a system for the parking lot so we could keep track of when customers arrived and where they were located. We tore apart the store to create new holding areas for orders waiting to be picked up,’ [Julie] explained.
Now with their new system, customers can buy all their goods online then arrive at Echter’s at a predetermined time to have their goods loaded into their trunk by mask clad staffers. The entire process is completely contactless and there’s little to no risk of coming within six feet of anyone.
‘Colorado is a very special place with a strong community and positive spirit. We are so thankful to be able to continue providing our community with essential plants and supplies and so thankful for the continued support from our customers.’
‘I think the most difficult times bring out the real beauty in life. It is situations like these that real kindness emerges and communities come together. People step up and become leaders and friends. We are able to stop and appreciate the people and things that really matter.’”

Learn more about how Echter’s adapted their business operations with 303 Magazine’s in-depth story. Read more here.

Photo via Echter's Facebook Business Page

How has your business transformed during the pandemic?

Pinnacol wants to lift up local businesses during these challenging times by sharing inspiring business evolution stories with our tens of thousands of customers. 

Share your story with Pinnacol.