Montgomery’s Colorado Retail Report

Montgomery's Colorado Retail Report

Colorado is a hot spot for some of the best retail growers and independent garden centers in the country, so it was a great opportunity to be able to tour some of these facilities on a beautiful summer Saturday in July [18].

I had the opportunity to tour the area with Frank Yantorno, owner of Center Greenhouses. Yantorno knows the local market as well as anybody and supplies many of the high-quality garden centers in the Denver Metro with “wow” quality hanging baskets and perennials.

Center Greenhouses arguably has the most consistent basket recipes. All varieties bloom at the same time, and this is not very typical of most mixed baskets.

The weather for our tour was in the low 60s in the morning and climbed to the 90s by late afternoon. There was a lot of activity, particularly at the independents, with less traffic at the national retailers. We visited a limited number of the national retailers to compare product mixes and price points.

All retailers were running summer sales, and some had a very relevant product mix while others had the same mix they offered in the spring. The hottest items were 12-inch and 14-inch hanging baskets and large summer annuals. Zinnias and perennials were selling particularly well.

Lowe’s

Lowe’s offered a fairly good array of summer annuals in 6- and 8-inch sizes and did not stock annual packs. It had a large selection of perennials from Oklahoma and Washington. No perennials were produced in Colorado.

Home Depot

Home Depot had a wide range of annuals and perennials and several price points on hanging baskets from 10-inch basic to 14-inch premium. It also offered a large selection of pack annuals but had a limited supply of larger summer annuals. All perennials were from out of state vendors that included Arizona, Washington and California.

Walmart

Walmart featured 6-inch summer annuals with a lot of vinca and zinnias with very few hanging baskets. It also did not offer pack annuals. One of the best summer items was rudbeckia ‘Tiger Eye’ in an 8-inch logo pot that stood out because of the large number of flowers. It has a real “wow” look.

Nick’s Garden Center

Nick’s Garden Center in Aurora, Colo., a featured a great selection of hanging baskets that created the “wow” effect not often seen in garden centers. Nick’s also featured a nice selection of mixed containers ranging in prices from $36.99 (12-inch) to $149.99 (24-inch). All annuals and perennials had a price sticker on each pot, and the retailer uses POS signage as well as anybody I have seen this season.

The aisles were wide, making it easy to shop, and each product area was well signed, making product easy to find. Overall, Nick’s is one of the most consumer friendly garden centers I have ever visited. Talk about cleanliness: This garden center is spotless. Female shoppers must love this format.

Nick’s had the best display of rock garden plants featuring both the Stepables and Rock Stars brands, using the brand POS materials to identify the area. It had a very innovative display, building a bench where it installed flagstones and then planted the Stepables between the stones. This demonstrated how simply and effectively the product could be used.

Good Earth Garden Center

Good Earth Garden Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., is a well-run garden center with excellent product quality and a lot of the “wow” effect driving sales velocity. Good Earth featured many high-quality hanging baskets and patio pots with much higher prices than the national retailers but product quality that was superior. The sales areas are divided nicely into separate formats with good signage and a number of well-trained and very friendly staff members. It’s just another outstanding garden center in the Colorado market.

Rick’s Garden Center

Rick’s Garden Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., is an old, well-established garden center with a large following of consumers as evidenced by the traffic that was extremely high for July. The owner indicated Rick’s was known for high-quality plants and friendly customer service.

Spencer’s Garden Centers

Spencer’s Garden Centers is a long-established business in Colorado Springs, Colo., with a newer location in Fountain. Both locations were holding an ice cream social during my visit for their customers. Spencer’s offers a nice selection of green goods featuring good quality with outstanding merchandising.

High Country Garden Center
High Country Garden Center in Monument, Colo., is a very diverse garden center that also features a full line of pet supplies, horse feed and supplies and wine-making kits. High Country is a well-diversified company that has created a format for year-round income and customer contact.

Ace Hardware

Ace Hardware in Colorado Springs, Colo., has a complete garden center division attached to the hardware store that was well laid out. It offered a large array of outdoor living products. Ace Hardware was phasing out live goods for the summer with most items reduced for clearance. Ace obviously has seen the opportunities in outdoor living and is moving to tap into this huge market.

Look for Ace to increase activities in the marketing of green goods that will present a lot of opportunities.

Pricing

Because prices were so diverse and varied so dramatically form retailer to retailer, I am not reporting them. In general, though, the prices are 30-50 percent lower at the national retailers. But from what I observed, many items, especially hanging baskets and patio pots, are far better values at the independent garden centers. Here are a few examples of 10-inch hanging baskets representing the premium SKU:

Hanging Baskets
Retailer 10-inch 12-inch 14-inch
Lowe’s 14.98 24.97 29.97
Walmart 12.00    
Home Depot   24.97   
Nick’s   32.99-36.99   
Good Earth   34.00-38.00  
Rick’s   34.98  
Ace   24.99  

Summary

Most retailers were having sales. Some used a percentage discount method while others were just marking down prices on selected items. For July, traffic was brisk and there were still a lot of bedding plants and perennials going out the door of most garden centers.

As I’ve written in the past, Colorado has better managed independent garden centers than any other state I’ve visited.

The national retailers have a much more limited supply chain in Colorado with only two large bedding plant growers to pull from. All the perennials are shipped in from distant markets in the Southwest, Northwest and West.

There is a very noticeable difference in perennials at the independent garden centers because most of their supply comes from local high-quality suppliers like Center Greenhouses  Not only do the local growers produce consistent product quality, but they have the advantage of lower-cost distribution. More importantly, they can respond to their customer needs in hours.

Garden Centers
Retailer Store Number City
Nick’s GC   Aurora
High Plans   Monument
Good Earth GC   Colorado Springs
Rick’s   Colorado Springs
Spencer’s   Colorado Springs
Spencer’s   Fountain
Home Depot 1541 Monument
Home Depot 1504 Colorado Springs
Home Depot 1503 Thornton
Home Depot 1524 Broomfield
Lowe’s 2432 Westminster
Lowe’s 0246 Northglenn
Lowe’s 1989 Westminster
Walmart 2223 Westminster
Walmart 3824 Westminster
Walmart 1231 Thornton
Costco   Thornton
Ace Hardware   Colorado Springs

 

Leave a Reply

4 comments on “Montgomery’s Colorado Retail Report

  1. Jerry-
    Your reports are very insightful and detailed. I look forward to reading them and seeing how the markets are doing.

    Will you add roses to your reports?

    Thank you,
    FL GROWER

  2. Jerry-
    Your reports are very insightful and detailed. I look forward to reading them and seeing how the markets are doing.

    Will you add roses to your reports?

    Thank you,
    FL GROWER

More From Marketing...

March 4, 2015

Nexus Corporation’s Cheryl Longtin Encourages Women To Seek Volunteer Leadership Opportunities

When Cheryl Longtin came to the horticulture business in 1994, she applied her experience in the automotive industry to promote the adoption of more technology in greenhouse production. Longtin says horticulture, with its rich family tradition, has long promoted women in the industry compared to other industries, but women in horticulture must continue to seek out opportunities to provide volunteer leadership in organizations that shape the future of the business.

Read More

March 4, 2015

Second Annual GreenhouseConnect Will Bring Growers and Suppliers Together in San Diego This October

Following a successful inaugural event in Tampa last fall, Greenhouse Grower has announced the dates of its second annual GreenhouseConnect: October 26-29, 2015. Representatives of an expected two dozen leading greenhouse operations from across the U.S. will join senior-level suppliers at Rancho Bernardo Inn in San Diego for several days of one-on-one strategic meetings, a growers-only roundtable, informational sessions and a variety of networking events.

Read More
cultivate'15 logo

March 4, 2015

Cultivate’15: AmericanHort Announces What’s New

In an industry that has seen major changes occurring at a fast pace, many industry professionals leave Cultivate with their heads spinning and no clear idea of how to regroup and strategize. Cultivate’15 is “Changing the Game.” As this year’s focus, Changing the Game will call your attention to the ways in which our industry has changed and your opportunities to compete successfully.

Read More
Latest Stories

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
Salvia 'Playin the Blues' from Proven Winners

September 9, 2014

Grand Gardening Show On Mackinac Island Draws Huge Audi…

Dates are already set for Proven Winners' 2015 Grand Garden Show after the great response the 2014 show received in late August.

Read More

August 27, 2014

New Gardening App GrowIt Connects Community Of Gardener…

Thanks to Ball Horticultural Co.’s Mason Day and Seth Reed, gardeners can now share photos of their plants, interact with other growers and learn about what grows best in their area with the duos new app, GrowIt!

Read More