Montgomery’s New York Retail Report

I visited 57 retail garden centers in New York City and Long Island from June 4-8 to determine the performance of these garden centers and their vendors. The weather for the most part was ideal, except when it rained all day June 5.

The weather was ideal for the weekend and the traffic in the garden centers was heavy, with many consumers still buying lots of vegetables. The other items that seemed to be selling well were annual packs, annual flats–1801, 2401 and 3201–as well as 10-inch basic and premium hanging baskets.

The breakdown of the stores visited is as follows:

- Home Depot 29 (14 Ivy Acres, 15 Weiss)
–Lowe’s 9
–Walmart 10
–Kmart 3
–Costco 2
–Sam’s Club 2
–Independent garden centers 2

Home Depot

Home Depot, of course, is the most dominant retailer in lawn and garden in this area because of its store density. There are three Home Depots for every Lowe’s. Home Depot is also the clear leader in the New York City and Long Island markets in overall shopping experience. And it appears Home Depot has made significant improvements in product quality and merchandising since Spring 2008.

Ivy Acres is one of Home Depot’s most outstanding suppliers with great product quality that always has lots of color and the right size plants for the container they’re produced in.

Ivy Acres has shown some innovative leadership with the development of the Straw Pot, an environmentally friendly container that is used for bedding plants and vegetables. Ivy Acres is now producing Knock Out roses in the eco-friendly container. It’s one of the best merchandisers, understanding how to utilize the end caps and aprons for maximize impact.

Ivy Acres offered some of the most consistent hanging baskets in 10-inch basic and 11-inch premium that I’ve seen at Home Depots around the country.

Lowe’s

Lowe’s did not have the color impact seen at Home Depot, especially in the hanging basket category. Lowe’s had some interesting programs with the Color of Coleus, Yellow Petunia and Colors of Caladiums, all produced in a 1-gallon colored container. The retailer still uses the Garden Club Select brand as its main vehicle for premium annuals, but I did see limited quantities of Proven Winners and large quantities of Wave in three different sizes and price points.

Walmart

Staying with its basic strategy of “less is more” focusing on the basics and eliminating the “cute stuff” has led to more orderly stores and a simplified shopping experience. In this area, it seems as though Walmart’s traffic was much lower in the garden centers versus other markets I visited this year.

Kmart

Kmart offered a limited portfolio of items that was mostly merchandised outside the garden center on the sidewalks and aprons. I visited the Kmart stores on Monday morning, and it appeared as though there was little product movement over the weekend. It seems as though there is not enough traffic to support the sales velocity necessary to create enough scale that is necessary for the green goods sector.

Costco (Westbury, N.Y.)

Costco had a nice selection of items that provided some reasonable consumer values:

- Ten 4-inch premium annuals retailing at $24.99
–Two 8-inch perennials retailing at $15.99
–12-inch coco hanging basket retailing at $17.99
–10-inch tomato cages retailing at $12.59
–12-inch patio pots retailing at $15.99

Costco (Commack, N.Y.)

- Six 6-inch basic annuals retailing at $16.99, more than the same products at Home Depot
–Three 306 annuals retailing at $14.99
–16-inch patio pots retailing at $29.99
–Two 8-inch perennials retailing at $15.99
–12-inch patio squares retailing at $15.99

Sam’s Club

Sam’s Club had huge displays outside the store featuring three annual items that were not overly impressive

- 10-inch basic hanging baskets retailing at $6.36
–Three 4.5-inch annuals premium retailing at $10.26
–Flats of 606 annuals retailing at $9.88

Martin Viette Nurseries (East Norwich, N.Y.)

This independent garden center is an established family business catering to the upper-income crowd. It has a following of long-time loyal customers.

In the annuals category, Martin Viette offered a limited selection of sizes and varieties. Geraniums were all Oglevee genetics.

The bedding plants were of reasonable quality but not the kind of “wow” products you come to expect from independent retailers. It is a perfect example of customers who are more interested in the shopping experience versus the perfect product. Annuals were priced at a premium.

This is a garden center were you can find almost anything for the garden and patio with a huge inventory of upscale containers and very expensive patio furniture. You will never find a better shopping experience at a garden center anywhere–at least among the places I’ve visited.

Bayport Flower Houses (Bayport, N.Y.)

Bayport is another great family-owned business that is long established and has a very loyal following with many customers whom I saw store employees calling by name. The retailer offers impeccable service and a huge selection of nursery plants, but not an overwhelming offering of annuals. It has a nice selection, but actually less SKUs than the home centers.

This is another place for a great shopping experience. If you want personal attention this is the place.

Summary

Home Depot was very impressive both in New York City and Long Island, exhibiting great product quality, outstanding merchandising and a well-rounded portfolio of products. Clearly, Ivy Acres is a well-managed vendor that specializes in great execution and must realize there is a lot more to success than growing good plants.

Products that appeared to be the fastest selling were packs, flats of annuals, hanging baskets under $20 and, of course, vegetables. The interesting thing about vegetables is when a consumer buys vegetables: The associated hard goods sales jump significantly. Items that seem to benefit from vegetable tie-in sales are bagged soil, cow manure, fertilizers, tomato cages, fertilizers and insecticides.

Stores Visited with Vendors
Retailer Store No. City Annual Vendor Perennial Vendor
Home Depot 6957 Brooklyn Ivy Acres Ivy Acres
Home Depot 1232 Brooklyn Ivy Acres Ivy Acres
Home Depot 1249 Staten Island Ivy Acres Ivy Acres
Home Depot 6150 Staten Island Ivy Acres Ivy Acres
Home Depot 1281 Staten Island Ivy Acres Ivy Acres
Home Depot 1225 East Elmhurst Ivy Acres Ivy Acres
Home Depot 1285 Long Island City Ivy Acres Ivy Acres
Home Depot 6152 Brooklyn Weiss Weiss
Home Depot 1225 South Ozone Park Weiss Weiss
Home Depot 1216 Valley Stream Weiss Weiss
Home Depot 1274 Hempstead Weiss Weiss
Home Depot 8465 Westbury Weiss Weiss
Home Depot 1201 East Meadows Weiss Weiss
Home Depot 1213 Jericho Weiss Weiss
Home Depot 8466 Syosset Weiss Weiss
Home Depot 1272 Huntington Weiss Weiss
Home Depot 1202 Commack Weiss Weiss
Retailer Store No.  City  Annual Vendor  Perennial Vendor 
Home Depot 6167 Commack Weiss Weiss
Home Depot 1285 Deer Park  Weiss Weiss
Home Depot 1267 Farmingdale Weiss Weiss
Home Depot 1218 Copiague Weiss Weiss
Home Depot 1211 Bay Shore Weiss Weiss 
Home Depot 1222  Riverhead Ivy Acres  Ivy Acres  
Home Depot  1282  Shirley Ivy Acres   Ivy Acres 
Home Depot 8958 Bellport Ivy Acres  Ivy Acres 
Home Depot 1258 Patchogue Ivy Acres  Ivy Acres 
Home Depot 1229 Coram Ivy Acres  Ivy Acres 
Home Depot 1209 Selden Ivy Acres  Ivy Acres 
Home Depot 1265 Setauket Ivy Acres  Ivy Acres  
Retailer Store No.  City  Annual Vendor  Perennial Vendor 
Lowe’s 1658 Staten Island CK Stacy’s
Lowe’s 1624 Garden City CK Stacy’s 
Lowe’s 2612 Hicksville CK Stacy’s
Lowe’s 2371 Patchogue CK Stacy’s
Lowe’s 1189 Medford CK Stacy’s
Lowe’s 2233 Stony Brook CK Stacy’s
Lowe’s 1674 Brooklyn CK Stacy’s
Lowe’s 1709 Bayport CK Stacy’s
Lowe’s 1917  Farmingdale CK Stacy’s
Retailer Store No.  City Annual Vendor  Perennial Vendor 
Walmart 3420 Westbury Garden State Garden State 
Walmart 2916 E. Meadows No Plants  Garden State 
Walmart 5293 Valley Stream Garden State Garden State 
Walmart 5205  Commack Garden State Garden State 
Walmart 2917 Islandia Garden State Garden State 
Walmart 2906 Riverhead Garden State Garden State 
Walmart 2286 Centereach Garden State Garden State 
Walmart 5295 Farmingdale Garden State Garden State 
Walmart 2156 Middle Island Garden State Garden State 
Walmart 2915  E. Setauket Garden State Garden State 
Kmart   Riverhead Weiss Weiss
Kmart   Farmingville Weiss Weiss
Kmart   Bohemia Weiss Weiss
Costco   Westbury N & O N & O
Costco   Commack N & O N & O
Sam’s Club 6674 Elmsford Grower Direct na
Sam’s Club 6428 Medford Grower Direct na
Martin Viette   East Norwich local local
Bayport   Bayport local local

Leave a Reply

12 comments on “Montgomery’s New York Retail Report

  1. Just wanted to say thanks for the reports you have provided all Spring. As soon as the greenhouse grower email arrives, I am opening your article to see what insights you can provide for the weekend in sales. Keep up the good work!

  2. Dear Anonymous
    I would love to have converstaion but I don’t respond to anonymous comments.
    If you care to idnetify yourself we could have an exchange of view points.

  3. Jerry,

    I think the reason GG, allows it’s readers to send in comments anonymously is so that they will feel free to make comments without the fear of retribution. You must understand the power of the printed word, and the responsibilities related to assuming this power.

    The reason these other readers made these comments about your report is because it is clearly biased.
    Simply because of the fact that you visited 29 Home Depots, more than all the other retailers combined! This reason alone is enough for someone to questions your motives.

    I suggest that in the future you ask yourself these few simple questions before you write.

    1) Is it true?
    2) Is it necessary?
    3) Is it kind?

    Last but not least, check your spelling !

  4. Thank you for visiting Long Island. With a high number of quality growers and many small to medium sized independant garden centers, I hope your next trip shows us more than the world of the big box.

    Regards,
    Fred Hammerle

  5. Just wanted to say thanks for the reports you have provided all Spring. As soon as the greenhouse grower email arrives, I am opening your article to see what insights you can provide for the weekend in sales. Keep up the good work!

  6. Dear Anonymous
    I would love to have converstaion but I don’t respond to anonymous comments.
    If you care to idnetify yourself we could have an exchange of view points.

  7. Jerry,

    I think the reason GG, allows it’s readers to send in comments anonymously is so that they will feel free to make comments without the fear of retribution. You must understand the power of the printed word, and the responsibilities related to assuming this power.

    The reason these other readers made these comments about your report is because it is clearly biased.
    Simply because of the fact that you visited 29 Home Depots, more than all the other retailers combined! This reason alone is enough for someone to questions your motives.

    I suggest that in the future you ask yourself these few simple questions before you write.

    1) Is it true?
    2) Is it necessary?
    3) Is it kind?

    Last but not least, check your spelling !

  8. Thank you for visiting Long Island. With a high number of quality growers and many small to medium sized independant garden centers, I hope your next trip shows us more than the world of the big box.

    Regards,
    Fred Hammerle

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