Montgomery’s Tampa Retail Report

Montgomery's Tampa Retail Report

Marketing consultant Jerry Montgomery spent last weekend touring Home Depot, Lowe’s and Walmart garden centers in Tampa, Fla., among other retailers. He shared his findings with us.

Introduction
It was a perfect Saturday (March 21) for gardening and even a better day for buying plants. The temperature in the morning was in the 60s, and it was over 80°F by 3 p.m. Consumers were out in large numbers with parking lots adjacent to the garden centers full.

There was a frenzy on 4.5-inch annuals with Home Depot offering them at three for $1 and Lowe’s countering with the same SKU at $0.33 each. Each retailer had several stores where the 4.5-inch annual displays were completely empty, so the promotion obviously worked. Vegetable sales were also brisk, but annuals seem to be the hot ticket of the day.

Home Depot
These were the best Home Depot stores I’ve ever observed in Florida. They featured spectacular color and good plant size, making their overall quality above average. The hottest items were, of course, the 4.5-inch annuals, but T-18 Landscaper flats were moving briskly along with 10-inch basic baskets ($6.99), as well as landscape tropical foliage. Of course, the No. 1 item you see in every shopping cart is bagged soil.

Lowe’s
The color, plant size and overall quality at Lowe’s was equal to Home Depot because it uses the same vendor. However, Lowe’s clearly has the edge in merchandising on aprons because it uses them for mostly green goods, whereas its competitors allocate more space for bagged goods and patio stone.

Lowe’s had a new SKU that was signed ‘Yellow Petunia’ in a gallon yellow container, an obvious response to the ‘Lemon Zest’ at Home Depot. It also had large displays of ‘Yellow Petunia’ in hanging baskets. The Spice of Life vegetable and herb program from Costa Farms seems to do doing very well.

Retailers Visited In Tampa, Fla., Metro Area
Retailer Store No. City Annual Perennial Vegetable
 Home Depot  6311  Tampa  Costa  Riverview   Bonnie 
 Home Depot  0729  Tampa  Costa  Riverview   Bonnie  
 Home Depot  6035  Tampa  Costa  Riverview  Bonnie 
 Home Depot  6361  Tampa  Costa  Riverview  Bonnie 
 Home Depot  0256  Tampa  Costa  Riverview  Bonnie 
 Home Depot  0243  Brandon  Costa  Riverview  Bonnie 
 Home Depot  6380  Riverview  Costa  Riverview  Bonnie 
 Lowe’s  1003  Tampa  Costa Costa   Bonnie 
 Lowe’s  2360  Tampa  Costa  Costa  Bonnie 
 Lowe’s  0564  Tampa  Costa  Costa  Bonnie 
 Lowe’s  1629  Tampa  Costa  Costa  Bonnie 
 Lowe’s  0573  Brandon  Costa  Costa  Bonnie 
 Lowe’s  1911  Riverview  Costa  Costa  Bonnie 
 Walmart  2740  Tampa  American Farm  American Farm  Bonnie 
 Walmart  22627  Tampa  American Farm  American Farm  Bonnie 
 Walmart  1482  Tampa  American Farm  American Farm  Bonnie 
 Walmart  2387  Brandon  American Farm  American Farm  Bonnie 
 Walmart  988  Land O Lakes  American Farm  American Farm  Bonnie 
 Sam’s Club  6401  Tampa  Sunshine Growers  n/a  Sunshine Growers
 Costco    Brandon  n/a n/a  n/a 

Walmart
It also had great color, good plant size and great overall quality in annuals, some of the best I’ve ever seen in Walmart stores. It uses a 209 pack to counter the T-18 offered by its competitors. In the Tampa area, it would appear the 4.5-inch annual promotion offered by others hurt Walmart’s 4.5-inch sales during this weekend.

Sam’s Club
Sam’s offered three items that were a really good value, but there was little activity in its plants sales area. The values:

– 12-inch patio pot retailing at $15
–10-inch pillar geranium retailing at $12.48
–3-gallon patio vegetables retailing at $10.52

The pillar geraniums were displayed pot to pot so it was hard to see each individual plant, and this may have hurt sales. Sales would have benefited if there was a large label showing the consumer how-to information. Consumers just don’t know this product, even though it has been on the market for years. You rarely see it at retail.

Costco
Costco seems to have more of a focus on orchids and bromeliads than outdoor garden, but it did have a few outdoor garden items.
–12-inch combination basket retailing $16.99 (good use of annuals and foliage)
–1-gallon Regal Geranium retailing at $13.79
–14-inch patio pot retailing at $25.99
–10-inch clay pot bromeliad retailing at $19.99
–1-gallon orchid single stem retailing at $20.99
–6-inch clay orchid retailing at $17.99

Summary
The season seems to be off to a great start with great weather and anxious consumers, coupled with improving quality products and growers who are creating the “WOW” effect on retailers’ shelves. Retailers are aggressively marketing large and garden products with aggressive advertising and eye-catching promotions.

The product quality in this area has dramatically increased with growers who are putting spectacular color on the shelves of the major retailers. Merchandising at store level has improved with cleaner, neater stores that are well designed with executed plan-o-grams and fewer than ever un-priced items.

One issue is re-stocking while there is heavy consumer traffic. Shelves need to be restocked, but it is highly inconvenient for the consumer. When you see consumers struggling to roll their carts over hoses and dodging grow carts, it makes you wonder if this could be accomplished with less intrusiveness.

Bonnie Plant Farm continues to be the dominant provider of vegetables and herbs to all three national retailers. It has made some interesting changes to its program:

– Improved POS signage that makes it easier to post prices
–Developed the Bonnie brand vegetable fertilizer
–Indemnified patio-type vegetables separately from its products mix
–Are now offering 2-gallon patio vegetables
–Have garnered more retail space

This program just keeps getting better with few challengers in local markets.

Retail Prices: Tampa, Fla.
Item Size Home Depot Lowe’s Walmart
Bedding Plants
Annual 4.5-inch 3/$1 0.33 0.95
  T-18 9.96 9.98  
  209     5.50
  6-inch 2.97 2.48  
Drop & Grow Flat   14.98  
Premium Annuals Quart     2.00
  1G     3.50
Geranium 6-inch     3.50
Wave 6-inch   3.98 3.00
Pillar Geraniums 2G     15.00
Vigoro annuals Quart 2.97    
  1G 3.97    
VIVA! Quart 2.97    
  1G      
Proven Winners Quart 3.97 3.58  
  1G 4.97    
Garden Club Select Quart   3.58  
  1G   5.48  
  8-inch   7.98  
Perennials Quart      
  1G 3.97 3.48-3.98 3.50
  8-inch   5.98  
Premium Perennials 1G 4.97    
HB Basic 10-inch 6.99 6.98  
HB Premium 10-inch 8.99 8.98  
  12-inch 12.97 12.98 13.50
HB ‘Yellow Petunia’ 12-inch   14.98  
HB ‘Strawberry-Fiber’ 11-inch   17.98  
Coco 14-inch 16.97    
Patio 8-inch urn 7.97    
  10-inch 10.97 11.98 10.00
Patio Geranium-NG Impatiens 10-inch   12.98  
Color Bowl 14-inch 9.99    
  12-inch   11.98  

Leave a Reply

4 comments on “Montgomery’s Tampa Retail Report

  1. Were the 4 1/2″ annuals selling in Tampa at 3/$1.00 actually that size? I was told by a reputable retailer in the VA Beach area where the same promo was run that the annuals proved to be no more than 3″. I also think it does no one in our industry any good when plants are so unrealistically priced.

  2. The question was asked “were the 4.5″ anuals in Tampa retailing @$0.33 only seedling size”?
    The answer is no, they were decent size plants grown close together.
    It was a “doorbuster” promotion, a part of their advertising expemses.
    I have digital images available.

  3. Were the 4 1/2″ annuals selling in Tampa at 3/$1.00 actually that size? I was told by a reputable retailer in the VA Beach area where the same promo was run that the annuals proved to be no more than 3″. I also think it does no one in our industry any good when plants are so unrealistically priced.

  4. The question was asked “were the 4.5″ anuals in Tampa retailing @$0.33 only seedling size”?
    The answer is no, they were decent size plants grown close together.
    It was a “doorbuster” promotion, a part of their advertising expemses.
    I have digital images available.

More From Business Management...

June 30, 2015

Opportunities Abound For Women In Horticulture, Says Dosatron International’s Lela Kelly

My love for horticulture goes back to my grandparents who were farmers in upstate New York. My family’s involvement in agriculture left a lasting impression that has spanned decades, and still drives my passion for our industry today. I started my career in horticulture when I owned a greenhouse, nursery and garden center in Sayville, Long Island, N.Y. We specialized in ground cover production, later branching out to producing perennials and bedding plants.     I then went onto wholesale hard goods distribution. In the 1980s, I was the first woman salesperson on Long Island. What an eye opener that was! New York is a very special place, different from anywhere else in the country. You cannot imagine how difficult it was walking into greenhouses and nurseries as a woman, in a man’s world. Luckily, I grew up in New York City in an Italian family, who taught me great […]

Read More
Medal of Excellence Award

June 30, 2015

Get To Know The 9 Variety Finalists For Editor’s Choice And Industry’s Choice Awards

Greenhouse Grower‘s Evening Of Excellence reception is rapidly approaching. Here, you can learn more about the varieties that are finalists for the Medal Of Excellence Editor’s Choice and Industry’s Choice Breeding Awards. Thank you to the 2015 sponsors of Greenhouse Grower‘s Medal Of Excellence Awards, Landmark Plastic, Nufarm and Stockosorb. Editor’s Choice Asclepias ‘Monarch Promise’ (Hort Couture) Basil ‘Balsamic Blooms’ (EuroAmerican Propagators) Celosia ‘Dragon’s Breath’ (Sakata Seed) Dianthus Jolt Series (PanAmerican Seed) Salvia Grandstand Series (Green Fuse Botanicals) Scabiosa ‘Kudos Pink’ (Hishtil Nurseries) Industry’s Choice Basil ‘Balsamic Blooms’ (EuroAmerican Propagators) Bidens BeeDance Series (Suntory Flowers) Celosia ‘Dragon’s Breath’ (Sakata Seed) Dianthus Jolt Series (PanAmerican Seed) Lobelia ‘Starship Deep Rose’ (Kieft Seed) Vinca Valiant Series (PanAmerican Seed)     Join us Monday, July 13 in Ballroom 2 at the Columbus Convention Center to find out which varieties will receive the coveted awards. The reception begins at 5:15 p.m. and the ceremony […]

Read More
lighting feature

June 29, 2015

Customizing Crop Foliage Color With LEDs: Red Leaf Lettuce

In the first of a four-part series highlighting the multiple uses of light-emitting diodes (LEDs), researchers share how end-of-production supplemental lighting with LEDs enhances red leaf lettuce color prior to harvesting and shipping.

Read More
Latest Stories

June 30, 2015

Opportunities Abound For Women In Horticulture, Says Do…

My love for horticulture goes back to my grandparents who were farmers in upstate New York. My family’s involvement in agriculture left a lasting impression that has spanned decades, and still drives my passion for our industry today. I started my career in horticulture when I owned a greenhouse, nursery and garden center in Sayville, Long Island, N.Y. We specialized in ground cover production, later branching out to producing perennials and bedding plants.     I then went onto wholesale hard goods distribution. In the 1980s, I was the first woman salesperson on Long Island. What an eye opener that was! New York is a very special place, different from anywhere else in the country. You cannot imagine how difficult it was walking into greenhouses and nurseries as a woman, in a man’s world. Luckily, I grew up in New York City in an Italian family, who taught me great […]

Read More
LuxFlora logo feature image

June 29, 2015

Luxflora Wants To Create A Lifestyle Movement

A new organization for women in horticulture plans to take on some of the industry’s toughest marketing challenges by promoting the use of flowers and plants in everyday living.

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
Carol Miller

June 25, 2015

Anatomy Of How A Garden Retail Business Deal Is Made

For the regional chain SummerWinds, a clear-eyed assessment of suppliers is needed for both to succeed in a competitive market.

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

June 25, 2015

Perennial Plant Association Names Six Scholarship Winne…

The Perennial Plant Association awards six scholarships for horticulture students to attend its July perennial plant symposium, plus a stipend of $1,000.

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
AmericanHort_HortScholars

June 23, 2015

AmericanHort Announces 2015 HortScholars

AmericanHort has selected six students from across the country to serve as this year’s HortScholars. This rigorous, competitive application process identifies some of the industry’s brightest professionals and helps to launch their careers in horticulture by providing education and networking opportunities. The goal of the HortScholars program is to provide students with an enriching professional development experience that increases their knowledge, industry awareness and career enthusiasm. 2015 HortScholars: • Sarah Leach Smith, University of Delaware • Bobby Nance, Virginia Tech • Madeline Olberg, Purdue University • Nick Sobecki, Ohio University • Emily Teng, University of Hawaii • William Yoho Jr,, Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute HortScholars will be on-site at Cultivate’15 (July 11-14 in Columbus, Ohio) and receive complimentary Cultivate registration, lodging and meals. Additionally, they will receive a complimentary one-year AmericanHort membership. On-site at Cultivate’15, HortScholars will assist the Generation Next Community with events, conduct presentations that share […]

Read More
Michigan State University’s Bailey GREENhouse Sells Produce And Tea To Campus Dining Facilities

June 20, 2015

Michigan State University’s Bailey GREENhouse Sells Pro…

A greenhouse operated primarily by Michigan State University (MSU) students has begun exploring new crops, including herbs, to produce a line of tea. The Bailey GREENhouse, completed in 2012, gives students from MSU’s Residential Initiative for the Study of the Environment (RISE) the opportunity to experience hands-on learning about organic growing methods, composting and the food cycle. The greenhouse, which was built in partnership with Residential and Hospitality Services, the Department of Community Sustainability, RISE and the Student Organic Farm, is a passive solar hoop house intended for the production of certified organic culinary herbs and salad mixes. Students plant, grow and harvest herbs and microgreens using soil from university composts. All of the produce is certified organic, and is sold to MSU dining facilities, including Brody Square, The Gallery at Snyder and Phillips Halls, the McDonel test kitchen and the Kellogg Center Hotel & Conference Center. The new tea line […]

Read More
peggy_michael_leider

June 19, 2015

American Floral Endowment Memorial Tribute Established …

Past American Floral Endowment (AFE) Chairman Jim Leider suffered the losses of his wife and son this year, first with the death of Peggy, who passed away on March 23, and two months later with the death of his and Peggy’s oldest son Michael, who died on May 24. Peggy succumbed to a long battle with cancer at age 76, and Michael, age 54, also passed away after a brief but painful battle with cancer. “Both Peggy and Michael have given a tremendous amount of support to the industry, side by side with Jim Leider. This is our way of honoring their legacy, by also allowing others to give back to the industry they love, in their names,” Ken and Randy Tagawa said in a joint statement. Peggy first met Leider at Cornell University, and later moved to Chicago to marry him. She was a major supporter of the family […]

Read More
Urban Gardens

June 19, 2015

Urban Gardens Feed The World On A Local Level

Growing food in small spaces and urban gardening go hand in hand, no surprise there. But the fact that there are 200 million urban farmers worldwide, supplying food to 700 million people may be a startling revelation to those who equate food production with large rural farms. According to a fact sheet report from the Food of Agriculture Organization of the United Nations entitled “Feeding Cities, The Role of Urban Agriculture,” the 700 million people urban farmers supply with produce accounts for 12 percent of the world population. Aside from the obvious benefit of helping to feed a burgeoning world population, urban farms, the newest trend in a greener future, are a source of revenue for under- or unemployed residents. They also provide on-the-job youth training and community education and shorten the journey from farm to plate. And the benefits don’t end there. Urban farms may be small, but they have […]

Read More
american-hort-logo

June 18, 2015

Introducing SHIFT: An AmericanHort Initiative

AmericanHort, along with its research affiliate the Horticultural Research Institute (HRI), introduces SHIFT: An AmericanHort initiative. This innovative research project takes a hard look at the future of the industry. What was once announced as the “the future of retail” research project isn’t just about retail anymore — it’s about how the collective industry can rise to the challenge of meeting modern and future consumers’ expectations. This research demands a shift in strategies, thinking and paradigms. It forces us to think and to ask ourselves, “What if we started doing things differently?” SHIFT is the largest research initiative of its kind for the industry. The resulting data, insights and recommendations paint a clear picture of opportunity for all industry businesses to capitalize on trends and even get ahead of the curve. SHIFT is the future of consumers, the future of retail, the future of the supply chain and the future […]

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
AFE young professionals council

June 17, 2015

AFE Launches Young Professionals Council

The American Floral Endowment (AFE) has established the Young Professionals Council (YPC), which consists of 21- to 35-year-old students and professionals in the floral industry. YPC members will use their skills and strengths to help reach other young professionals interested in becoming leaders in the floral industry, provide guidance and feedback on AFE’s programs, and get involved in leadership and learning opportunities through AFE’s programs. “There are crucial industry challenges that need to be addressed, and the YPC is a significant program that I believe will help benefit the industry. I look forward to working with the driven young members of this group to help spread awareness of AFE and build a stronger future,” says AFE trustee and YPC board liaison Dwight Larimer. Current members include: • Tha Cha, grower at Cha Veggies • Joshua Craver, Ph.D. student at Purdue University • Eric Fernandez, director of mass markets and business […]

Read More
thermoflor

June 16, 2015

Philip Schaafsma To Represent Thermoflor In The U.S.

Philip Schaafsma is a new sales representative for Thermoflor, a company with a lot of experience building garden centers worldwide. The history of the Dutch construction company Thermoflor goes all the way back to 1877. Since then, the company has been through a lot of changes, from simple conservatories to complex glass and steel turnkey projects. With a new sales representative, Thermoflor is well equipped to service the American market. Previously, Petitti Garden Center (Avon, Ohio), Chuck Hafner (Syracuse, N.Y.), Jacob’s Garden (Ottowa Lake, Mich.), Hicks Nurseries (Westbury, N.Y.) and Holes (Alberta, Ca.) were all built by Thermoflor. After a period of absence, the company is now  represented in the U.S. and Canada by Schaafsma, who has more than 40 years of experience in retail lawn and garden, greenhouse growing and the floral industry, and is a former board member of the Garden Centers of America. Schaafsma is the former owner […]

Read More

June 15, 2015

Hortica Insurance To Become Member Of Sentry Insurance …

Upon completion and approval of an affiliation agreement, Hortica Insurance (Florists' Mutual Insurance Company) will become a member of the Sentry Insurance Group, based in Stevens Point, Wis. As a member of the Sentry Insurance Group, Hortica keeps its name and brand and will continue doing business from its current headquarters in Edwardsville, Ill.

Read More
growing for futures logo

June 15, 2015

National Garden Bureau To Offer Grants To Therapeutic G…

National Garden Bureau (NGB) will grant $10,000 this fall to be split among three therapeutic gardens in North America as part of an ongoing effort to raise awareness of horticulture and support the benefits of gardening. After fundraising for a vocational therapeutic garden in Chicago last year, NGB is expanding its support of gardens that promote the health and healing powers of human interaction with plants. Beginning this month, NGB will begin accepting applications from therapeutic gardens that meet the following set of criteria: 1. Have a defined program using the garden to further particular goals for participants lead by a qualified leader. Examples include horticultural therapy, occupational, physical, vocational or rehabilitation therapy in a garden setting or using gardening to promote positive social relationships within a community. 2. Offer a nature experience/interface for population served, including, but not limited to veterans, special-needs children or young adults, the elderly and/or those […]

Read More

June 10, 2015

Women In Horticulture Should Celebrate Their Difference…

Maria Costa-Smith, executive vice president at Costa Farms in Miami, Fla., says she believes in equal treatment for equal work. She encourages women in horticulture to work hard, be team players, perform beyond expectations and add value to their organizations. Fulfilling Her Dreams Maria Costa-Smith grew up in the horticulture industry, and never doubted that she wanted a career in ornamental horticulture. Part of a family with a history steeped in agriculture, her grandfather, Jose Costa, was a farmer in Cuba, who sent her father, Tony Costa, to the University of Florida just before the Cuban Revolution to study agriculture. When the family uprooted in 1961 and fled to the U.S., they began growing tomatoes and citrus on a 30-acre plot of land in Miami, and soon after expanded into ornamentals. Thus, Costa Farms was established. Working on the farm with her father and grandfather, Costa-Smith says she was always […]

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