December 30, 2013
Marketing And Plant Quality Go Hand-In-Hand
Growers can no longer rely on the quality of their crops to speak for them. Consultant Jerry Montgomery shares his thoughts on the operations taht understand that an amalgamation of all the business disciplines -- including marketing -- is necessary to grow and prosper.
August 13, 2013
State Of The Supply Chain
The greenhouse supply chain has evolved since 2000 like no other time in industry history. These dramatic changes were driven by a number of factors, including: â€¢ Consolidation at all levels of the chain â€¢ The massive explosion of retail space in the 1980s and 1990s â€¢ Power shifts from growers to retailers â€¢ The declining size of the grower base â€¢ Changing levels of support between the breeder/producers and the brokers â€¢ The economy Letâ€™s take a look at some of these changes, and how theyâ€™re impacting you and your business. Retail: The Box Stores In the â€™70s and â€™80s, Kmart was the market leader in bedding plant retail. That changed by 1995, when Home Depot, Walmart and Loweâ€™s combined had 2,913 stores with 33 million square feet of outdoor garden selling space. By 2000, these giants grew to 4,228 stores and 72 million square feet of outdoor space. […]
July 23, 2013
Patio Containers In Chicago: Garden Retail Report
It is fairly clear that many in this industry believe patio containers are important SKUs because the consumer wants the convenience of buying plant décor that can be taken home and set in place. There are thousands of recipes being offered by breeders and brokers so the choice of looks is unlimited. Unfortunately, many of the recipes do not grow well together or flower at the same time making the patio pots, in many cases, unsalable. While visiting the Chicago market in May and June, I was impressed with the huge array of patio containers and the number of consumer retail price points to choose from at The Home Depot. The selection at The Home Depot provided by Masterpiece Floral and Grand Flowers was the most extensive relative to sizes and consumer choice that we have seen at garden centers across the country. It was also impressive to see all […]
July 16, 2013
Garden Retail 2013: Chicago
The weather in Chicago was perfect and the shoppers were out in huge numbers filling almost every garden center we visited on May 18 to 19, 2013. Home Depot was the most crowded, with a busy parking lot. In looking closely at a number of shopping carts, customers were buying a wide variety of items, including large patio containers and hanging baskets. In this market, there has been seemingly no impact on the sale of Impatiens walleriana. We observed large inventories in all retail locations. The main objective of this retail tour was to see the initial launch of the Miracle Gro Syngenta branded annuals. They were on the shelves in every Home Depot, with larger displays in the suburbs than the city stores. Here is what we saw: • Two SKUs: a 5-inch annual retailing for $6.98 and a 12-inch fiber hanging basket with Calliope geraniums retailing for $19.98. […]
July 9, 2013
Garden Retail 2013 Report: Hartford, Conn.
The Hartford area is a mixture of some outstanding IGCs and the usual spread of national retailers based on population density. My visit was June 12 (warm with intermittent rain) and June 13 (cool and rainy). There was not much traffic in any garden center during this two-day retail tour. In almost all stores, whether big boxes or IGCs, there was a lot of inventory on the shelves and in some instances it had some age to it with a typical spring product mix. There was no indication of a transition to a summer product mix. In talking to the retailers, they had a decent year but most thought they still needed a good solid weekend of sales to make their year compete with last year. Walmart: Emphasis On Merchandising And Perennials It seems as though there is far less emphasis on the Better Homes and Gardens brand this season, […]
May 7, 2013
A Dynamic And Changing Greenhouse Supply Chain
As usual, the California Spring Trials offered the chance to see many new varieties and marketing programs and a wonderful opportunity for personal networking. This year in particular, however, it caused me to look harder at the changing face of the supply chain. The recent changes have caused, in my estimation, a shift in the power and importance of a number of key industry companies. Consider some significant shifts: • The Dümmen Group took control of Fides Oro’s bedding plants and perennials and its related brands, Ecke, Oglevee, Fides and Bartels. That makes Dümmen the most powerful and influential vegetative breeder/producer serving the North American market. Dümmen and Agribio will be two completely separate companies owned by H2Equity, a new company to be announced and the management. • Syngenta Flowers sold its grower distribution company, Syngenta Horticultural Supplies (SHS), to the Griffin family, a leading supplier of hard goods in […]
March 1, 2013
The Changing Role Of The Plant Broker
The role of the plant broker is undergoing some significant changes with new entrants starting to impact how the channel operates. Over the last six months, major changes have occurred to this portion of the supply chain. Some prominent examples are: • Griffin Greenhouse Supply acquired Syngenta Horticultural Services (SHS) from Syngenta.• ePlantSource, an online storefront, has announced its launch sometime around April 2013.• McHutchison has announced the formation of a new national division named Vaughn’s Horticulture, and it opened for business on February 19, 2013. The North American broker channel consists of 30 to 35 brokers, albeit some are seed only and some are plants only. However, this channel is dominated by seven companies serving the U.S. market. Below these seven companies are listed in order of sales volume based on my own assumptions: 1. Ball Seed with sales estimated to be 2.5 times more than the closest competitor.2. […]
February 28, 2013
The Art Of Selling: Ask the Right Questions
My favorite sales cliché is, “Selling is not telling,” meaning, “Don’t talk too much.” Your goal in selling is getting the customer to talk. The way to accomplish this is by asking questions that require long responses. These questions are called open-ended questions, and they are the ones that cannot be answered with a yes or no. They start with what, where, when, why, who and how. Here’s the formula: CT75 + ST25 = a successful sales call. In this equation, the customer talks 75 percent of the time, and the seller talks 25 percent of the time. When the seller is talking, most of the conversation should revolve around asking open-ended questions. The seller talks more during the product presentation and in the closing. Questions That Uncover Customer Needs Asking a lot of good questions helps uncover customer issues and problems. Uncovering the core issues will help the seller […]
February 11, 2013
Choose The Right Greenhouse Varieties For 2013
While the greenhouse industry has become more progressive in its marketing efforts, we are still stuck using very traditional approaches that are no longer effective. Let’s look at a couple of levels in the supply chain to see how they market their products. Growers There has been a huge transition in the balance of power regarding variety adoption at the grower level. This is driven by the influence of outdoor grower trials. Many retailers are selecting varieties based on what some say are the most objective trials. Leading examples are Metrolina, VanWingerden International, Welby Gardens, Costa Farms and C. Raker, just to name a few. Retailers don’t care who bred the plant; all they want to know is what works best and if it comes from a reliable source. Some industry observers have suggested the importance of university trials has vastly diminished. Breeder And Producers This group has changed California […]
February 22, 2017
Emerging Industry Leaders Earn Business Management Cert…
Dr. Charlie Hall, Ellison Chair for International Floriculture at Texas A&M University, recently announced the graduation of the fourth cohort of the elite Executive Academy for Growth & Leadership (EAGL) program for nursery and greenhouse growers.
February 21, 2017
Learn How Drones Could Eventually Replace Bees in Polli…
Researchers in Japan are using the principle of cross-pollination in bees to make a drone that could potentially transport pollen between flowers.
February 21, 2017
Ian Baldwin: 2017 is Off to a Strong Start For Plant Re…
Many garden retailers are telling garden retail consultant Ian Baldwin that sales and the consumer’s attitude toward spending have been very strong the last two months.
February 20, 2017
5 New Varieties Shaking Up the Poinsettia Tradition
With poinsettias trending toward non-traditional colors, growers may find new opportunities to spread sales beyond the winter holidays. Here are five of the newest euphorbia varieties to hit the market that may play a role in redefining the future of the poinsettia market.
February 17, 2017
How to Keep Customers Coming Back With Top-Notch Servic…
A recent article on Forbes.com outlines seven ways organizations can take their customer service from good to great and beyond.
February 17, 2017
Proven Winners Makes Improvements to Its Retailer Certi…
Understanding the challenges of training new and seasonal staff at independent garden centers, Proven Winners says it is working to equip managers with tools to prepare their employees to better handle customers’ questions and boost their confidence in selling plants this season.
February 17, 2017
Industry Veteran Tom Foley Discusses His New Role as Vi…
Foley, a greenhouse industry veteran who was most recently with EuroAmerican Propagators, will be responsible for North American sales of WaterPulse’s patent-pending capillary mats and associated irrigation systems to nurseries and growers.
February 17, 2017
Dan and Jerry’s Greenhouse Buys Iowa-Based DeJong Green…
The acquisition will allow Dan and Jerry’s, a bedding plant grower headquartered in Minnesota, to extend its seasonal product offerings and service a new customer base with local distribution.
February 16, 2017
Pleasant View Launches Updated Website for its Savor Ed…
The site is designed to offer a friendly and informative vehicle that delivers product information in an easy-to-navigate format.
February 15, 2017
Syngenta Introduces Two New Flower Series for 2017
‘Sunfinity’ Sunflower produces multiple branches with numerous flowers that bloom all season long, while ‘Obsession Cascade’ Verbena quickly fills containers with vibrant flower patterns.
February 15, 2017
New Greenhouse Cooling System in Development for Hot-Cl…
Researchers at McGill University in Quebec have developed an alternative evaporative cooling solution for greenhouses in warm climates, and are now seeking commercial partners.
February 14, 2017
Suppliers Comment on Plant Genetics’ Fate After EuroAme…
Since the operation’s bankruptcy filing on January 23, 2017, suppliers associated with EuroAmerican Propagators have updated Greenhouse Grower on what the operation’s bankruptcy means for them – and how it will impact grower customers.