Montgomery’s Cincinnati Retail Report

Slideshow: Cincinnati Retailers

In the Cincinnati market, you know before you arrive that retail will be interesting. Bell Nursery serves the market, and it clearly was not disappointing. It was a Monday after a very busy weekend when I visited, so it was not typical of the store condition. On top of that, Bell was doing an extensive inventory.

The stores were not yet back in shape from the weekend, but it was easy to see the merchandising was far above average by merely looking at the displays that had been put back in shape. As usual, the Bell merchandisers were working hard. They still paid a lot of attention to customers that needed assistance.

Home Depot

Clearly the leader in this market is Home Depot because of the Bell performance. Word is they are up significantly in store comps year over year, which is not surprising. As in other Bell areas, Home Depot focuses on more premium items and does not offer small seed-grown packs. Home Depot offers a very nice half-flat at $7.88 (24 count) and a full-flat at $11.97 (32 count). Both SKUs are really good values.

I observed a number of premium SKUs being offered and saw some of the best-grown ‘Lemon Zest’ of the season. It was merchandised so well that every consumer who entered stores stopped by the display. They also had some of the best ‘Lemon Zest’ baskets we’ve seen this year produced in an 11-inch fiber at $21.97.

Other notable products were large displays of Wave Petunias still growing in demand, all displayed in the signature pink packaging. The VIVA! Henna coleus was excellent quality and well merchandised. The Calliope geraniums looked great and sales were strong.

The merchandising of perennials was interesting the way the two products categories were separated and merchandised in a way to make them very easy to shop. Unlike many retailers that mix perennials into the annual plan-o-gram, both had their own plan-o-grams. We also noticed the Home Depot people are becoming increasingly friendly and are offering more assistance than ever.


Lowe’s has vastly improved its product quality and merchandising, obviously to remain competitive with The Home Depot. Lowe’s had a very wide array of items and had a really good assortment of patio pots and hanging baskets. The primary annual vendor is Color Point and, it is raising the bar at Lowe’s. Particularly impressive were heir large selection of patio pots in a number of different containers and a nice range of retail price points.


It seems as though in every market we visit, Walmart has made such huge strides in product quality, merchandising and has made the shopping experience much more pleasant. The Cincinnati metro stores have clearly improved in all of these areas. They have some really nice hanging baskets in several prices points and are more focused on the basic high-volume items but enough premium items to make it interesting for the consumers.


The Cincinnati market just came off a big weekend with many stores reporting increased comps and an unprecedented demand for vegetables and herbs. Bonnie Plant Farm is by far the market leader in this area relative to vegetable and herb supply with little sign of any competition at any of the three national retailers.

The one product that seems to be always present at all retailers is the famous Wave Petunia. All three national retailers dedicate significant shelf space to this powerful brand. With the most recognizable packaging, the signature pink color makes one of the most compelling displays. Any retailer not offering Wave in its signature packaging is probably losing 50 percent or more of the potential sell-through. At Lowe’s, it offered four sizes and four price points. No other product has that kind of exposure.

If this past weekend is any indication what will happen throughout May, there will be many happy growers and retailers, not to mention the consumers who get to enjoy our products for three to five months arguably get the best value in any consumer product category.

Because of time limitations, we visited only 12 stores and were unable to cover an independent garden center, Sam’s Club or Costco. Hopefully, this report will provide a reasonable sketch of the market.

Retailers Visited Cincinnati Metro
Retailer Store City State Annual Vendor Perennial Vendor Vegetable Vendor
Home Depot 2306 Florence Ky. Bell Stacy’s Bonnie
Home Depot 2324 Crescent Spring Ky. Bell Stacy’s Bonnie
Home Depot 3832 Cincinnati Ohio Bell Stacy’s Bonnie
Home Depot 3814 Cincinnati Ky. Bell Stacy’s Bonnie
Lowe’s 0554 Florence Ky. Color Point Berry Bonnie
Lowe’s 1071 Highland Heights Ohio Color Point Berry Bonnie
Lowe’s 1160 Cincinnati Ohio Color Point Berry Bonnie
Lowe’s 1585 Cincinnati Ky. Color Point Berry Bonnie
Walmart 1512 Florence Ky. KFG Clifford’s Bonnie
Walmart 2967 Fort White Ohio KFG Clifford’s Bonnie
Walmart 1443 Cincinnati Ohio Green Circle Sawyer Bonnie
Walmart 2240 Cincinnati Ohio Green Circle Sawyer Bonnie


Retail Prices Cincinnati Metro
Item Size Home Depot Lowe’s Walmart
Annuals Basic 606 NA 1.98 1.85
  4.0     1.00
  6.0 3.33 1.50 2.25
Flat (24) 1/2 7.88    
Full flat (32) Flat 11.97    
  306 3.88   4.50
Premium Annuals 6-inch 3.99   4.50
Geraniums Seed 4-inch 1.39 1.58 1.25
Geraniums 4-inch 3.97    
Item Size Home Depot Lowe’s Walmart
  6-inch 5.98 5.98  
Premium Quart   3.75  
Color of Coleus 1G   4.98  
Vigoro Quart 3.98    
Henna Coleus Quart 4.48    
VIVA! 1G 4.98    
VIVA! Henna Coleus Quart 4.48    
VIVA! Quart 3.98    
Item Size Home Depot Lowe’s Walmart
Wave 306 7.47 7.98 5.50
  6-inch 4.96 4.48 5.00
Tidal Wave 8-inch   7.98  
Wave T-18   19.98  
Proven Winners Quart 4.48    
Garden Club Select Quart   3.98  
  1G   6.98  
  Pint   2.98  
Perennials Quart 3.98 3.98 3.00
  1G 5.97 5.98 5.50
Item Size  Home Depot  Lowe’s Walmart 
Hanging baskets        
Basic 10-inch 7.00  5.98 9.00 
Premium  10-inch    11.98  12.00 
Mandevilla  10-inch  23.98  24.98   
Fiber  11-inch  19.98     
Regal Geraniums 12-inch   26.98   
  12-inch  12.98  24.98  17.00 
Calliope  11-inch  21.97    19.00 
Lemon Zest 11-inch 21.97     
  14-inch  26.98  26.98   

Teardrop Coco

14-inch   2.98   
Item Size  Home Depot Lowe’s Walmart
Patio Pots        
  10-inch  12.98  13.98  11.00 
Gerbera HB  10-inch      12.00 
Geraniums  10-inch      13.00 
  12-inch      16.00 
Garden Club Select 12-inch   16.98   
  13-inch    24.98   
Tuscany 12-inch   19.98  
Geranium 14-inch   49.92   
Tuscany  16-inch   26.98   
Window Box  16-inch   12.98   
Coco metal stand 6-inch   36.98   
Item Size  Home Depot  Lowe’s  Walmart 
Bonnie Vegetables 9-pack  3.48 3.28 3.00
  3-inch 1.18 1.18 1.00
  4-inch 2.99  3.98 3.00
  5-inch 3.48 3.48 3.25
  1G 5.99 5.98 5.00

Leave a Reply

2 comments on “Montgomery’s Cincinnati Retail Report

  1. I love to get a beat on the industry, but I find it very dissappointing that this survey could only find time to scope the big guys. As an independant retailer/grower I would like to see more focus on independant’s, not just the price wars of the big guys.

  2. I love to get a beat on the industry, but I find it very dissappointing that this survey could only find time to scope the big guys. As an independant retailer/grower I would like to see more focus on independant’s, not just the price wars of the big guys.

More From Marketing...
protecting bees and pollinators video

March 31, 2015

New Video On Protecting Bees And Pollinators Educates Horticulture Industry Professionals

A new educational video that provides information on the horticultural industry’s essential role in bee and pollinator stewardship is one result of industry collaboration by the Horticultural Research Institute, AmericanHort, Society of American Florists and the American Floral Endowment. “Protecting Bees & Pollinators: What Horticulture Needs to Know,” narrates the current state of bee and pollinator health, provides information on factors that impact pollinators and the environment and underscores the beneficial role horticulture plays in providing healthy pollinator ecosystems.

Read More

March 31, 2015

California Summer Vegetable Trials To Be Hosted By National Garden Bureau Members

Vegetable breeding companies will come together this August to host the Summer Vegetable Trials in California. Like the long-standing California Spring Trials that are held annually in California, attendees will have the opportunity to visit breeding companies' trial sites in seven locations throughout the state, from August 20-21, 2015. National Garden Bureau (NGB), the non-profit organization promoting gardening on behalf of the horticulture industry, is organizing and publicizing this event on behalf of its members.

Read More

March 31, 2015

DNA Green Group Will Acquire Rijnplant

DNA Green Group and Riknplant have finalized DNA Green Group's acquisition of Rijnplant, meaning that the breeding and propagation activities in pot and cut anthurium, bougainvillea and heliconia will transfer to DNA Green Group.

Read More
Latest Stories
Rose rosette on Knockout rose, April 2012. Photo credit: Alan Windham, University of Tennessee

March 25, 2015

$58 Million In APHIS Farm Bill Funding Will Support Hor…

Nearly $58 million as been allocated by the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to support the industry's Plant Pest and Disease Management and Disaster Prevention Program, under Farm Bill Section 10007. The program will support mitigation efforts for specialty crops, including providing research and other funding to address plant pest and disease priorities for the specialty crop industry, including floriculture and nursery crops.

Read More
National Floriculture Forum 2015 029

March 18, 2015

2015 National Floriculture Forum Focuses On Marketing I…

The 2015 National Floriculture Forum, held March 6 to 7 in Minneapolis, Minn., zeroed in on the topic of marketing in horticulture and included visits to Gertens Greenhouses and Garden Center, Bailey Nurseries, Bachman’s Floral, Home and Garden and Tangletown Gardens. The annual meeting allows greenhouse and floriculture faculty, graduate students and industry partners to meet and share updates on current research, issues and initiatives.

Read More

February 18, 2015

Range Of Nursery Inspections To Protect Patented Plants…

Plant patents are under protection, and breeders are fighting for their rights to keep growers from illegally propagating protected varieties. It's something you don't want to take a chance on, because the risk is far higher than the reward. More than 300 inspections were carried out last year from New York to British Columbia and from Ontario to Florida to protect plant patents, Plant Breeders’ Rights (PBR) and branded programs.

Read More

February 4, 2015

TPIE 2015: An Electrified Industry Vibe Boosts Cool New…

The general feeling at the Florida Nursery Growers and Landscape Association's 2015 Tropical Industry Exhibition (TPIE) was upbeat and positive. Attendees were inspired by exciting new products and varieties, as well as creative new displays and innovative ideas and left energized for the season ahead.

Read More
Costa Farms Website

January 21, 2015

Costa Farms’ Launches New Interactive Website

Costa Farms is making efforts to educate consumers while pushing horticultural digital marketing forward with the re-design of its website. The new website features a fresh design and improved navigation, as well as a plant finder that gives gardeners easy access to plant information.

Read More

January 5, 2015

Growers Are Successfully Marketing The Benefits Of Pla…

Growers who are already marketing plant benefits and gardening as a lifestyle say they think this could be the best angle for the floriculture industry to promote our products.

Read More

January 5, 2015

Plants Love You Campaign Raises Plant Benefits To Foref…

Plants make us feel good. It’s a no-brainer, backed by numerous studies, but there’s more to the story. And it’s one the Canadian Ornamental Horticulture Alliance (COHA) hopes its Plants Love You campaign will tell in such a way that it will inspire people to make plants a part of their life, and on a bigger scale. COHA is an alliance between the Canadian Nursery Landscape Association (CNLA), the Fédération Interdisciplinaire De L’Horticulture Ornementqale Du Québec (FIHOQ) and Flowers Canada Growers (FCG). Inspiration for The Plants Love You campaign came from COHA’s research, which revealed that 96 percent of consumers surveyed have a favorable attitude toward plants. When COHA delved deeper into the numbers, one thing stood out loud and clear. “It quickly became apparent that while consumers like plants because they are pretty and make them feel good, few understood the environmental and health benefits plants offer.” says Frank […]

Read More

December 9, 2014

New Website For PanAmerican Seed

PanAmerican Seed's new website is mobile-friendly and has a fresh look and enhanced navigation.

Read More
What’s a pumpulent? It’s a pumpkin planted with succulents, and it’s also one of the ways Altum’s is catching customers’ attention with new products and modern marketing.

December 1, 2014

9 Digital Marketing Resolutions For 2015

Whatever your experience with digital marketing, here’s some advice for keeping your business progressing into the new year.

Read More

November 25, 2014

Conley’s Launches New Website

Conley’s Manufacturing and Sales recently launched its newly designed website, which was redesigned to create a user-friendly digital environment for customers to explore Conley's products.

Read More

November 17, 2014

Canada’s Plants Love You Campaign Educates Consum…

In a cooperative effort to promote the benefits of plants to consumers, the Canadian Ornamental Horticulture Alliance (COHA) recently launched its Plants Love You campaign to make consumers more aware of the health, environmental and economic benefits of plants.

Read More
Supertunia® Vista Bubblegum™ Petunia from Proven Winners

November 11, 2014

Plantbid Offers New Tool For Growers, Plant Buyers

Plantbid is touted as a revolutionary new tool that allows plant buyers to purchase their whole plant list at one time, from growers who provide their complete availability online. According to the company, this new offering could change the way growers and landscapers do business.

Read More
Dahlia Dahlinova Temptation Lavender from Dummen Fides Oro

November 10, 2014

Bas Pellenaars Takes On New Role As Brand Manager For D…

Dümmen group announces the transition of Bas Pellenaars from area manager to brand manager.

Read More

October 28, 2014

Zombie Adventures Are Back: GGS Releases Premiere Of Ne…

What's good for plants, but bad for zombies? GGS structures. The company released a new promotional video to get growers in the spirit of Halloween. GGS Structures ran a series of zombie movies last year, and this year, something new was released October 24.

Read More
Suzanne McKee

October 27, 2014

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
Sara Tambascio

October 2, 2014

How To Measure The Success Of Your Digital Marketing

Take a look at these metrics in your digital marketing to see if you’re connecting with your audience or just adding to the clutter.

Read More

September 26, 2014

How To Get The Digital Generation Into The Garden: Gard…

Capture millennials’ gardening interests with these marketing tips.

Read More
The Joseph Shinoda Memorial Scholarship Foundation

September 9, 2014

Shinoda Foundation Contributes Nearly $15,000 In Schola…

Based in California, the Joseph Shinoda Memorial Foundation's mission is to encourage educational opportunities for young people interested in entering the industry. Since 1965, the foundation has awarded $790,000 to more than 660 undergraduate floriculture students.

Read More