Montgomery’s Los Angeles Retail Report

Slideshow: Los Angeles Retailers

The weather in Southern California has been erratic and sales are slow with the exception of vegetables that are experiencing unprecedented growth. The weather Friday, May 1 was in the 50s in the morning and into the high 70s by the mid-afternoon hours–ideal weather for gardening. For a Friday, there was minimal traffic in all stores visited with the exception of Armstrong Garden Center in Claremont, Calif.

Home Depot

Home Depot has a different model in this market versus what I’ve observed in other parts of the country, using multiple vendors in each store compared to a single-source supply. In some stores, we counted up to three annual and three perennial vendors. This leads to lack of continuity and makes the job of managing the plan-o-grams difficult. Stores have a primary supplier for annuals and perennials with one or two backups.

Lowe’s

Lowe’s really excels in merchandising the outdoor aprons, always having high-impact, colorful items that clearly let the consumer know they are in the plant business. Lowe’s also has tapped into the hanging basket market with high-impact offerings and a nice range of price points.  Lowe’s is particularly strong in the annuals category with an array of sizes, price points and very consistent quality store to store

Walmart

Los Angeles is another place where both the product quality and merchandising has made vast improvements. The Walmart store in Covina (No. 2202) was one of the best I’ve ever seen. The product quality was way above average and the assortment offered a nice range of sizes and prices. Walmart uses the new Calliope Geranium in the perfect sizes– 12-inch hanging baskets and a 10-inch patio that allows the horizontal growth of this variety to fill out containers. It creates a great look and value for the consumer.

Armstrong Garden Center

As you drive down the street, no garden center grabs your attention like Armstrong with attractive landscaping and lots of color between annuals, perennials and roses. Its huge flowering baskets atop fencing create a dramatic effect, as well.

Armstrong had the best traffic count of any store visited during this day tour. It had some really attractive vignettes, including a separate one for The Suntory Collection and Always in Bloom, the Armstrong concept of selecting a container and then selecting pre-made combination liners that fits inside. Then, during other seasons of the year, consumers can buy seasonal pre-planted refills while using the same container. It’s a brilliant way to sell plants, and it practically guarantees the consumer will return each season.

Sam’s Club

Sam’s had only one item, a 16-inch patio pot, retailing at $25.64. Plants were not in bloom and were obviously left over from the weekend before.

Costco

Costco offered several really nice items that were great values:

– 12-inch Proven Winners hanging basket retailing at $11.89
–16-inch patio pot retailing at $21.49
–10-inch hibiscus retailing at $9.99

Vegetables

As in other areas, vegetables are leading the way in sales gains for everyone. Typically, you see more cross-selling with items that include tomato cages, bagged soil, fertilizer and insect control. In some cases, large containers are selling, too, because many vegetables are destined to be used in patio gardens.

I have seen some creativity relative to vegetable marketing, too. Colorama introduced a line of vegetables and herbs that are being produced under organic standards to comply with USDA’s organic certification program. The program is called Healthy Habit. Vegetables are produced in the first rice pot to have a tag-locking feature, because Colorama knows unlabeled vegetables don’t sell. The program includes a very attractive label with plenty of instructions. 

At Home Depot, Coast Nursery offered an heirloom tomato program. Tomatoes are produced in a 1-gallon container with four color graphics, but tomatoes seemed to be somewhat on the low end of the vegetable pricing scale. Armstrong Garden Centers offered the Organix line of vegetables, along with an extensive line of generic vegetables.

Eco-Products

Colorama launched its Healthy Habit vegetable and herb line in a rice pot with locking labels that is or will soon be all USDA-certified organic. El Modeno was offering quart perennials in rice pots without any promotional activities. And, of course, Bonnie vegetables were available under the Eco-Options concept at The Home Depot. Armstrong offered the Organix line of USDA-certified vegetables.

The Market

Traffic seemed to be down from what you would expect this time of year, and some merchandise was starting to show signs of aging. Still, for the most part, merchandise was good quality.

Home Depot was promoting 6-inch annuals at $1.50 each but there was not heavy movement with them, unlike the three 4.5-inch annuals for $1.00 promotion several weeks ago that had great success.

The stores we visited were in the area known as the Inland Empire. It has been hit particularly hard by mortgage foreclosures and may not entirely reflect the market in coastal areas.

Retailers Visited
Retailer Store No. City Annuals Perennials Vegetables
Home Depot 6369 Fontana Colorama Bordier Nakase Bonnie
Home Depot 0645 Rancho Cucamonga Colorama Bordier Nakase Bonnie
Home Depot 0687 Upland Colorama Bordier Nakase Bonnie
Home Depot 1084 Mira Loma Altman Hines Nakase Bonnie
Home Depot 6617 Glendora Coast Bordier Nakase Bonnie
Home Depot 0607 City of Industry Coast Bordier Nakase Bonnie
Home Depot 6884 Ontario Colorama Bordier Nakase Bonnie
Home Depot 8463 West Covina Coast Bordier Nakase Bonnie
Lowe’s (1) 1041 Upland Color Spot El Modeno Bonnie
Lowe’s 0316 Chino Hills Color Spot El Modeno Bonnie
Lowe’s 1872 City of Industry Color Spot El Modeno Bonnie
Lowe’s 1170 San Dimas Color Spot El Modeno Bonnie
Lowe’s 0774 Rancho Cucamonga Color Spot El Modeno Bonnie
Lowe’s 1700 Fontana Color Spot El Modeno Bonnie
Lowe’s 2473 Chino Color Spot El Modeno Bonnie
Lowe’s 2270 Ontario Color Spot El Modeno Bonnie
Walmart 2202 Covina Altman Altman Bonnie
Walmart 1947 Glendora Color Spot El Modeno Bonnie
Walmart 2288 Pomona Color Spot El Modeno Bonnie
Walmart 3522 Baldwin Park Altman Altman Bonnie
Walmart 2401 Duarte Altman Altman Bonnie
Walmart 2251 City of Industry Altman Altman Bonnie
Walmart 3464 Chino Color Spot El Modeno Bonnie
Armstrong   Claremont Armstrong Monrovia Armstrong
Sam’s Club 6610 Chino Color Spot n/a n/a
Costco   Cerritos n/a n/a n/a

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(1) CMA supplies hanging baskets to Lowe’s but Color Spot is the primary annuals vendor.

Retail Prices Los Angeles Metro
Item Size Home Depot Lowe’s Walmart Armstrong
Annuals Basic 806 1.99 1.99 1.80 2.79
  4-inch 0.99 0.98 1.25 1.49-0.97
  6-inch 2.97 2.98 2.50  
  1G 2.97 2.98    
Delphinium-Foxglove 1G     5.00  
  8-inch     4.50  
  T-18 15.98 14.98    
  1/2 9.97 9.98    
Premium Annuals Quart       3.99
  1G 4.98   4.50 5.99
Geraniums 4-inch 3.29 1.98   2.99
Cora Vinca 6-inch     3.00  
Geraniums 1G 4.98 3.98 4.50  
  Quart       3.99
Plants That Work 4 Quart       3.99
Nooks & Crannies 3-inch       2.99
Garden Club Select Quart   3.48-3.78    
  1G   4.86    
GCS Perennials 8-inch   11.98    
VIVA! Quart        
  1G 5.98      
Proven Winners Quart 3.49      
  1G 6.47      
Wave 306   7.98 6.00  
  6-inch   3.48 4.50  
Tidal Wave 8-inch   5.48    
Vigoro Quart 3.49      
  1G 4.48      
Perennials Quart 3.98 3.47 2.50  
  1G 4.98 4.47-4.98 3.98 6.99-19.99
Hanging Baskets          
Basic 10-inch 12.98   10.00  
Premium 10-inch 14.97 14.98 13.00  
Proven Winners 12-inch 17.97   16.00 19.99
Calliope Geranium 12-inch 17.97 19.98 20.00  
Fiber 13-inch 19.98 24.98 20.50  
Garden Club Select 12-inch   22.68    
  14-inch   24.98   39.99
Patio Pots 10-inch 12.98 12.98 13.50  
Urn 8-inch     10.00  
Item Size Home Depot Lowe’s Walmart Armstrong
Geranium Calliope 12-inch   14.98 19.00  
  13-inch   24.98 20.00  
Proven Winners 12-inch 17.97      
Color Bowl 12-inch 9.97      
  14-inch 12.98   14.00 12.99
Bonnie Vegetables 9-pack   3.48    
  3-inch 1.19 1.19 1.00  
  4-inch 2.98 3.00 3.00  
  5-inch 3.48 3.50 3.50  
  1G 5.98 5.00 5.00  
Local Vegetables 806 2.27 2.09    
  4-inch 1.49 1.36    
  1G 3.34      
Heirloom Tomatoes 1G 2.97      
Healthy Habit Herbs Quart 3.34      
  4-inch 1.98 1.98    

Leave a Reply

More From Marketing...
Basil_Persian-AAS2015_620x329

July 31, 2015

All-America Selections Promotes Garden-Fresh Cooking

All-America Selections (AAS) has stepped forward with another first when promoting AAS Winners, this time in the form of cooking videos using vegetables/edibles that have performed extremely well in the AAS Trials. These days, a love of gardening is directly related to a passion for cooking. Tying the two together is a natural when marketing joys of cooking with fresh vegetables from the garden and farm market. After 82 years of conducting trials where only the best performers are declared AAS Winners, the organization now has more than 325 individual varieties that have been “Tested Nationally & Proven Locally.” It is some of these many varieties that culinary storyteller, entertainer and horticulture industry veteran Jonathan Bardzik will use in a series of five videos demonstrating cooking techniques with AAS Winning herbs and vegetables. “I am excited to partner with All-America Selections to show people across the country that AAS Winners perform […]

Read More
Burpee Home Gardens Brand Adds Flowers

July 31, 2015

4 Reasons Retailers Snub National Brands

Greenhouse Grower’s lead editor, Laura Drotleff, and I got into a debate about why garden retailers, especially independent garden centers, snub marketing efforts from breeders and growers. She was very much on the breeders’ and growers’ side, expressing frustration about how limited retailers’ vision can be on the topic. I’ve reported on the garden retail side of the industry since 1998, about the same length of time Laura has reported on growers. I’ve heard a lot of retailer views on this, so allow me to share the most common reasons why retailers decline free marketing: Costs. While the marketing materials are free, and sometimes advertising, participating in these projects usually requires minimum orders. From a grower’s perspective, the minimum orders are reasonable. If garden stores promote a plant line, they need to have enough supplies to satisfy demand. From a retail perspective, if inventory reports show a plant line can […]

Read More
llan Armitage Syngenta Starcluster

July 30, 2015

Let’s Talk About Starflowers. Why Is Pentas Not More Popular?

It is good to talk about production techniques, performance results and then to see how our friends garden. Diversity of plant material has always been a strength in American garden centers, and we should never run out of plants to get people excited. However, perhaps people are tired of Petunias or Callas or Geraniums, but we will never run out of options to put in front of them. One plant that is often overlooked is Pentas, a fabulous summer crop for late spring sales. These are heat-tolerant plants, and growing them below 65°F in the greenhouse results in significant delay. Fertility should be at least 150ppm nitrogen, but avoid ammonia in the fertilizer. Plants are best grown at a somewhat higher pH than usual, between 6.4 to 6.8. For best presentation, pinch out the center bud. Side flowers will bloom together, and plants will walk off the shelf. Garden centers […]

Read More
Latest Stories
eMailMarketing feature image

July 23, 2015

Is eMail Dead?

Email as a marketing technique may seem outdated, but when done well, it is still an effective way to share content and market your brand.

Read More
HGTV HOME CAST 2015

July 22, 2015

Cultivate’15: Keynote Nancy Fire Says Use Passion…

In the second keynote presentation at Cultivate’15, Nancy Fire, founder and creative director of Design Works International, discussed how the horticulture industry can capitalize on the latest design and lifestyle trends. Fire works with companies to help bring their designs to the next level, and she has expertise with textiles and surface design, market analysis and corporate rebranding. She was appointed as design director for HGTV HOME in 2011. Fire says customers today are interested in companies that show passion for what they do. That, combined with following the general direction of trends and maintaining a brand, are what will keep horticulture businesses relevant to their customers. A trend isn’t just a passing fad, Fire says, but rather, it indicates that something is developing or changing in a certain direction. Plants are important to consumers today, and fit into current trends, both inside and outside the home, Fire says. “I don’t […]

Read More
LuxFlora logo feature image

July 21, 2015

Luxflora Launches With Cultivate Speaker Event, New Web…

A new organization for women in horticulture that aims to change the way consumers think about flowers, launched at Cultivate’15 by sponsoring Ketty Maisonrouge, a marketing expert, who presented “How To Create A Luxury Brand.” Luxflora recently launched its website, as well as a page on LinkedIn, to facilitate networking among women in horticulture. The organization is working on next steps, including setting up a board of directors and officers. Updates and information on future events will be available at the Luxflora website as they are scheduled. Read about Luxflora’s mission and what it hopes to accomplish in “Luxflora Wants To Create A Lifestyle Movement.” In the session during Cultivate, Ketty Maisonrouge, owner of KM & Company, adjunct professor of luxury strategy at the Columbia University Business School and the author of “The Luxury Alchemist,” presented her ideas and expertise on luxury strategy marketing, and how it applies to horticulture. […]

Read More

July 15, 2015

New Products Featured At Cultivate’15

A multitude of new products were on display at Cultivate’15, held in Columbus, Ohio. Attendees were given a first-hand look at new plant introductions coming to market, as well as innovative hardgoods, technology and equipment. One of the new options for varieties featured at Cultivate’15 was Sporticulture, winner of the 2015 Fresh Ideas Award. Sporticulture offers access to major sports leagues’ licensed products and packing. Team logos can appear on containers and tags, allowing growers and retailers to benefit from the loyalty customers have for their favorite team. Some of the featured plant varieties included Jolt interspecific Dianthus, from PanAmerican Seed, plus six new varieties from Sakata, including ColorWorks petunias, ‘Dragon’s Breath’ Celosia, PartyTime Coleus, ‘Proud Mari’ Marigold, SunPatiens Impatiens and Vitalia Vinca. Emerald Coast Growers featured its Marsala-toned plants, as a nod to Pantone’s Color of the Year. The collection included Pennisetum messiacum ‘Red Buttons,’ Pennisetum ‘Rubrum and ‘Eaton […]

Read More

July 8, 2015

Behind The Sale: Why Dümmen Orange Bought Florexpo, And…

Dümmen Orange recently announced it has acquired the product portfolio of Florexpo Costa Rica, a leading specialist in the production of perennials, herbs and annuals. During the fall of 2015, Dümmen Orange will start up production of perennials at its upgraded Antigua Flowers Guatemala farm, formerly the Ecke II facility in Antigua, Guatemala. The Altmanns, who founded Florexpo, as well as some of the key managers in the Florexpo team, will be assuming roles in this new endeavor. “In its long history Florexpo has built a good assortment, an outstanding sales network and a professional team of employees,” Perry Wismans, managing partner at Dümmen Orange, said in a press release. “With this move, Dümmen Orange takes the next step in realizing its growth strategy – aimed at creating synergies in technology, production and sales. We realize these synergies by distributing a variety of breeding programs and cross selling these products […]

Read More
Feature image The 2015 Perennial Plant Of The Year, Geranium x cantabrigiense ‘Biokovo.’

June 27, 2015

Perennial Plant Association Wins The 2015 Excellence In…

With its emphasis on education and its Perennial Plant Of The Year program, the Perennial Plant Association boosted the popularity of perennials and helped make it the vital category it is.

Read More
baker creative

June 23, 2015

Baker Creative Wins International Award For Work With J…

Baker Creative, a local branding agency, was recently selected as a Gold Award winner for the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals’ 2015 Hermes Creative Awards. Baker Creative won in the Advertising/Direct Mail Piece category for creating a factory opening invitation mailer for Jiffy Group . Hermes Creative Awards is an international competition for creative professionals involved in the concept, writing and design of traditional and emerging media. The Hermes Gold Award is presented to those entries judged to exceed the high standards of the industry norm. Only 22 percent of the entrants received the award. “When Jiffy needed to make a splash to draw attention to the opening of its new substrate facility in West Bridgewater, Mass., we turned to Baker Creative. The video card created by Baker Creative assisted us greatly with getting the much needed attention when inviting professional growers to the official opening,” a Jiffy Group […]

Read More

June 17, 2015

Marketing Ideas You Want To See From 2015 California Sp…

Back when California Spring Trials (CAST) were still called Pack Trials, new plants were placed on growing benches in packs so attendees could see for themselves how uniformly the plants grow. It was practical and useful. Today, CAST is primarily about introducing new plants in a way that catches your imagination and convinces you that these plants are not only disease resistant, need almost no inputs, including plant growth regulators (PGRs) and have excellent timing, but also that they are plants consumers will fall in love with. In other words, marketing. Some of the breeders go a few steps further and pull together ideas and information that growers can use for their own businesses. It can be methods to connect better with their retail customers or even to help promote our industry and its great plants directly to the public. Here are some of the standouts from CAST 2015. Pacific […]

Read More
Medal of Excellence Award

June 10, 2015

Greenhouse Grower Announces 2015 Medal Of Excellence No…

On this page, everybody’s a winner, because we’re announcing Greenhouse Grower‘s 2015 Medal Of Excellence nominees for two of our three awards in breeding, the winners of our Medal Of Excellence for Industry Achievement and Excellence In Marketing awards and the winners of our Grower Of The Year program, who are finalists for Operation Of The Year and Head Grower Of The Year. All honors will be presented during Greenhouse Grower’s prestigious Evening Of Excellence on Monday, July 13, during Cultivate’15. We hope we will see you there! Correction: Lobelia ‘Starship Deep Rose’ was bred by Kieft Seed, not Darwin Perennials, as we mistakenly printed in the June 2015 issue. Medal Of Excellence Watch Benchrunner in the coming weeks to read profiles of our Industry Achievement and Excellence In Marketing award winners, and look for these articles in our July 2015 issue. Industry Achievement Award The Kientzler Group Excellence In Marketing Perennial […]

Read More
Double Whammy Merchandise Display At CAST2015

May 28, 2015

Grow Inspiration To Grow The Horticulture Industry

We need to work together as the horticulture industry to inspire and instruct consumers with our plant knowledge and marketing expertise.

Read More
Plant-Select_for-web

May 28, 2015

PlantSelect.org And FindPlants.net Assist Consumers Wit…

The recently launched PlantSelect.org and FindPlants.net websites offer growing and maintenance tips, where-to-buy information and design ideas to help consumers have success with growing and finding plants.

Read More
Four Star Greenhouse Proven Winner Plants At English Garden

May 26, 2015

Retailer To Grower: It’s Time To Offer Services To Loc…

Retailers wonder why mass merchants are the only ones to receive stocking, merchandising and plant care from growers.

Read More
New Guinea Impatiens

May 14, 2015

10 Tips To Improve Retail Shelf Life Of Bedding Plants

Good-looking plants at retail lead to stronger sales and less postharvest shrink. Try these 10 ideas for maintaining quality and keeping plants looking beautiful.

Read More
GrowIt! App Wins Gold At Design100 2014 US Mobile & App Design Awards

May 12, 2015

Suntory And GrowIt! Garden Socially Partner On A New Se…

Three different contests will run from May through early August. Garden center retailers can upload their own photos or encourage their customers to enter and win.

Read More

May 6, 2015

Orange Is The New Green: An Interview With Dümmen Orang…

The day the news came out about the name change of DNA Green Group to Dümmen Orange, and everything that meant for the large flower breeding conglomerate, Greenhouse Grower Editor Laura Drotleff talked with Dümmen Orange Operations Manager Kate Santos about what the identity shift would mean for the company, its customers and ultimately for consumers. What’s going to happen to the brands and what was behind the decision to do away with those brands and consolidate? A key objective for our organization in moving to one corporate brand is to continue to stay true to the heritage and history of the individual brands that have made us what we are today and what we will build the future of our company upon. For this reason, some of those brands that have a deep-rooted history and much more recognition within the market, will have a longer persistence in our overall […]

Read More

May 1, 2015

Restoration Landscapes: A Specialized Market For Nativ…

Restoration landscapes, depending on their purpose, often require straight native species, along with a confirmation of their known provenance. Research is key in this area and good recordkeeping is a must.

Read More
Dummen_Begonia_UnbelieveableFirstKiss

April 29, 2015

Dümmen Orange Is The New Name For DNA Green Group

DNA Green Group has a new name: Dümmen Orange. The company revealed its new name, logo and brand values at all of its facilities in 16 countries on Thursday, April 23. The well-known corporate brands Lex+, Bartels, Terra Nigra, Dümmen Group, Agribio China, Agribio Colombia, Oro, PLA, as well as the production locations, are changing their identities immediately to Dümmen Orange. Other established brands like Rijnplant, Ecke, Oglevee, Red Fox, Fides, Japan Agribio and Barberet & Blanc will convert over limited time. The company’s CEO Biense Visser calls it a logical next step. “All companies that have been acquired have a rich and successful history,” Visser says. “We have always tried to respect that heritage. Doing so, we created confusion for our customers. Our employees expressed a preference for a more uniform approach to the market, too. That is why we have chosen one large umbrella brand that embraces the entire product […]

Read More

April 15, 2015

Redesigned SunPatiens Website Offers New Tools For Saka…

Sakata Seed America's new and improved SunPatiens website launched March 1, 2015 and provides growing information, marketing support, product location and many more tools to encourage consumer success with SunPatiens.

Read More