Garden Retailers Dish On Black Friday

Black Friday was a mixed bag for garden center retailers. Despite the uptick in sales many retailers saw throughout the country last Friday, garden retailers in some locations couldn’t make the same claim. Meanwhile, others saw heavy traffic Friday that dropped the rest of the weekend.

“The traffic was normal for us, but the sales were down,” noted Sandi McDonald of Hillermann Nursery & Florist in Washington, Mo. “People were buying, but just not near as much as in the past. We have a more open set up in the store, and have had many great comments about it. Cut Christmas trees moved well, as well as fresh greenery.”

Gali’s Garden Center in Beachwood, Ohio, saw sales jump about 20 percent versus the year before on Black Friday via an open house, but tree sales remained steady with the previous three years.

“So what does that mean for the season?” asks Chris Murray at Gali’s. “You know that I am a firm believer that Christmas tree sales tend to follow a similar pattern from year to year, so I believe that we will end up slightly ahead of last year. Wreaths, greens and other decorating items sold well, and it helps that we maintain a small inventory on those items and turn it more often, just like we do with the poinsettias.”

He added he was optimistic about the garden center’s holiday sales: “Overall I think that our industry will not be as affected by the economy this season as some other retail sectors because people see what we sell as more of a necessity than a 54-inch plasma TV or a new video game system.”

Customer traffic started out “wonderful” on Friday for Valley View Farms in Cockeyesville, Md., according to Carrie Engel. But traffic slowed Sunday because of rain and the Baltimore Ravens game, which kicked off at 1 p.m. “Plenty of people came in to the point of it being uncomfortably crowded,” Engel said of Black Friday. “Our outdoor area was set just after the (GCA Holiday) tour came through, and people were out in bigger numbers than I expected in trees and greens. Our poinsettias and other holiday plants are running about even with last year. Friday and Saturday in the Christmas Shop were about 10 percent off from 2007.”

Those at H.J. Benken Florist & Greenhouse in Cincinnati were happy with the whole weekend, pulling in more customers and about 45 percent more sales than last year. And while deliveries and sales were down for the florist shop, the garden center fared well. “Our numbers for the store were actually pretty solid. Overall I’m very pleased with the weekend,” says Tim Clark of Benken’s. “I was hoping to hold sales at 2007 levels for the garden center.”

Poinsettias were a bright spot for Barlow’s Flowers in Sea Girt, N.J. “Our poinsettia crop is very nice this year and are selling well,” says Leslie Barlow. “No complaints about price. We get $6.98 for a wrapped 4 1/2 inch and $13.98 for a 6 1/2 inch. We do well with the glittered poinsettias and the painted ones. One of the events is a workshop where we will show customers how we do that.” Barlow’s saw 20 percent increases in sales over last year for Friday and Saturday, too, but lost ground on Sunday because of a storm on the coast.

And while sales were still up in the air many places, the one thing all retailers share is a smaller window in which to make the sales. This year retailers have 27 shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, versus 32 last year. “Lets put it this way … it’s not pretty,” says Charlie Cole of Cole Gardens in Concord, N.H. “We are missing about a week in sales. We are hoping for a good upcoming weekend (to make it up).”

Leave a Reply

More From Marketing...
National Garden Bureau New Website

March 22, 2017

National Garden Bureau’s New Website Features Mobile-Friendly Design, Marketing Tools

The new site is designed to serve as a home base to drive traffic from NGB’s social media community to one central location.

Read More

March 7, 2017

Local Florists Celebrate Women’s Day and SAF Promotes Occasion With New Video

Florists across the U.S. are celebrating International Women's Day, March 8, and raising awareness for non-profit organizations. The Society of American Florists is raising its own awareness of what happens when women receive flowers with a new video for International Women's Day.

Read More
Savor New Website

February 16, 2017

Pleasant View Launches Updated Website for its Savor Edibles and Fragrants Brand

The site is designed to offer a friendly and informative vehicle that delivers product information in an easy-to-navigate format.

Read More
Latest Stories
National Garden Bureau New Website

March 22, 2017

National Garden Bureau’s New Website Features Mobile-Fr…

The new site is designed to serve as a home base to drive traffic from NGB’s social media community to one central location.

Read More

March 7, 2017

Local Florists Celebrate Women’s Day and SAF Prom…

Florists across the U.S. are celebrating International Women's Day, March 8, and raising awareness for non-profit organizations. The Society of American Florists is raising its own awareness of what happens when women receive flowers with a new video for International Women's Day.

Read More
Savor New Website

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.

Read More

January 24, 2017

Beekenkamp Plants B.V. to Take Over Marketing Sunny Ost…

Beekenkamp Plants B.V. will take over Sunny Holland B.V.'s marketing activities as of July 1, 2017, and begin offering Sunny Osteospermum to the supply chain.

Read More
gg-january-2017-cover-arizonaeast-feature

January 5, 2017

Why ArizonaEast Is Expanding Its Succulent Production T…

In Greenhouse Grower's January cover story, learn how Brian and Joe Vitale of ArizonaEast saw a chance to expand and diversify their New Jersey-based succulent operation, and why they jumped at the opportunity.

Read More
dummen-orange

October 18, 2016

Dümmen Orange Buys Rose Breeder, Participates In Petal …

Dümmen Orange will be hitting the streets of Columbus, OH, this week, handing out some of its favorite flowers as part of the Petal it Forward program in partnership with the Society of American Florists.

Read More
media-day-at-altman-plants

October 17, 2016

Altman Plants Hosts Media Day To Highlight Its Water Sa…

This month, Altman celebrated more than 100 million gallons of water saved since its water recycling program began operation.

Read More
OSU ATI Greenhouse

September 21, 2016

Your Support Is Essential For Current And Future Studen…

September is back to school time, and that means renewed opportunity to support the young people who are electing to pursue careers in horticulture. I continue to hear from growers of all sizes, from all over the country, that there just are not enough qualified graduates of two- or four-year horticulture programs. We also need to be active in promoting careers in horticulture to those who are not aware of the opportunities available. There have been some great success stories in this area recently. At University of Florida (UF) last fall, Anna Ball and Dr. Marvin Miller of Ball Horticultural Co. joined UF’s Dr. David Clark in an introductory environmental horticulture couse that’s open to any major. After the class, the line of students waiting to talk with Ball, Miller, and Clark was out the door. It is so important, Ball says, for each of us, individually and collectively to […]

Read More
Dual Income No Kids (DINK) Young Couple

September 16, 2016

What You Need To Know About DINKs

DINKs (Dual Income, No Kids) are quickly becoming one of the fastest-growing demographics that marketers are targeting.

Read More
Cavicchio Greenhouses

September 6, 2016

Cavicchio Greenhouses Wins Inaugural Sustainability Awa…

The Sudbury, MA, growing operation sustains more than 250 acres of annuals, perennials, and nursery stock, with a number of practices to mitigate its impact on the environment.

Read More
Laura Drotleff

August 10, 2016

Customers Need Hand-Holding And TLC [Opinion]

If we want customers to use our plants, we need to provide basic information about the plants we produce.

Read More
Luxflora Flower Run

July 20, 2016

First-Ever Flower Run Was A Big Success, Luxflora Says

Kicking off Cultivate’16 on Sunday, July 10, Luxflora’s first annual 5K saw nearly 150 participants racing through the picturesque Scioto Audubon Park in Columbus under clear blue skies and perfect conditions. It was a great way to start the week, participants said. Congratulations to the winners of the first-ever Flower Run: First Place: Jacob Griffith Gardner Second Place: Mike Goyette Third Place: Jack Ford The top three winners — and all of the Flower Run participants — were showered with flower petals when they crossed the finish line, making for a colorful and fragrant finish to an invigorating experience. “Personally, I would consider it a grand success,” says Luxflora President Rebecca Lusk. “The overall mood was fantastic, from start to finish. There were many high fives and group hugs, numerous duo phone selfies and postings to social media, while participants enjoyed their bananas and bottled water donated by Experience Columbus. Most […]

Read More
PrairieSplendor_CompactRose Syngenta Flowers March 2016

May 16, 2016

New “Generations Of Flowers” Study Tracks How And Why C…

The Society of American Florists and the American Floral Endowment have released an update and analysis of this study, which first began in 2009.

Read More
Webinar Photo from Flickr

May 7, 2016

How You Can Connect With A Broader Audience Through Web…

Webinars are time-saving and effective marketing tools that can extend your reach to a greater audience.

Read More

April 27, 2016

Use Your Data To Make Smarter Marketing Decisions

Learn which marketing metrics are important to your business, measure successes, and learn where changes are needed.

Read More

April 26, 2016

“Bee-Friendly” Labels Matter To Plant Consumers, Accord…

Research at Michigan State University shows ornamental plant buyers understand and respond to bee-friendly production practices.

Read More
Krause Berry Farms Farm To Table Dinner

April 20, 2016

What The Floriculture Industry Can Learn From Farm Mark…

Although we have a lot in common with the produce industry, there is much we can learn from one another.

Read More
Costa Farms Container Ideas E-Book

April 12, 2016

Costa Farms Targets Consumers With New Container Garden…

The electronic book offers tips on container selection, design, and plant care for millennials looking to grow in small spaces.

Read More