English Gardens Designs New Landscape for Growth with Comcast Business

Detroit Nursery and Garden Center Retools Network with Ethernet Dedicated Internet

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  • Detroit-based nursery and garden center that opened in 1954
  • Six locations with 275 full time employees and up to 400 seasonally
  • Offers flower and garden supplies, floral deliveries, and a full service landscaping firm

  • Increasing competition from national retailers
  • Need fast, scalable infrastructure to streamline operations and service

  • Comcast Business Ethernet Dedicated Internet 

  • Increased network bandwidth by 16 times
  • Reliable infrastructure to deploy wireless inventory management
  • More responsive customer service

Detroit Family Business Built on Generations of Customer Loyalty

English Gardens was founded in 1954 in Detroit as a family-owned flower shop and fruit market. Today, English Gardens has six retail locations and a full-service landscaping design and installation company. It ranks among the top 100 nursery and garden centers in the nation, and has been consistently voted “Best Garden Center” in Michigan.

English Gardens is still owned and operated by 10 second-generation owners and offers floral and garden tools and supplies, floral deliveries, full-service and do-it-yourself landscaping, holiday decorating, planting services, wedding arrangements, and custom potting. The center also offers unique, specialty services like a Garden Pharmacy and Patio Design Center.
“Our business is, and has always been, a family-centered and local business,” said Chief Information Officer Debbie Lowman. “Our brand is based on customer loyalty and the fact that we truly care about the people that come into our stores.” 

English Gardens Needs More Bandwidth to Manage Massive Inventory

In order to compete with national retailers in the area with large home and garden departments, including nearby big box retailers, English Gardens needed to keep a vast inventory in its stores. Managing this massive inventory and the many systems that went with it, like tagging and purchase orders, was an arduous task for its employees because of their slow internet connection. This, in turn, took time away from working directly with customers.

English Gardens wanted to be able to keep track of everything in their stores but couldn’t do so with a slow Internet connection. Their 3 Megabit per second (Mbps) MPLS connection also supported voice calls for English Gardens at all six locations, and the additional burden of inventory management put a strain on the staffers’ ability to do business.

“As we grew in the Detroit Metro Area, we started to compete with large retail chains and we really saw that the only way to do it was through a sound and robust technology platform,” said Lowman. 

Comcast Business Provides English Gardens with the Resources to Flourish

English Gardens assessed many different service providers but ultimately chose Comcast Business because of its high-performance Ethernet services, wide geographic reach of its network and reputation for proactive customer service. 

Comcast Business installed a fiber-based 50 Mbps Ethernet Dedicated Internet service at English Garden’s six stores, delivering 16X more bandwidth than what they had previously.  

“Thanks to Comcast Business, we are able to run like a large business but still act like the same family-owned, caring company with knowledgeable employees, that we always have been,” said Lowman. 

With significantly more capacity, English Garden’s was able to set up a brand new IT system that would be running on a reliable and dependable network connection. They also rolled out a wireless inventory management system supported by the Ethernet Dedicated Internet backbone that allows employees to service their customers much more quickly than they did before.

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