Spring 2013 Trend Watch: Top Sellers

We asked retailers across the country about which three specific products/plants were the best sellers for their store. Not surprisingly, bedding plant and vegetable and herb varieties were the most cited.

The most striking result was that no single variety or even plant garnered enough votes to head the list. The best sellers were diverse, from beefsteak tomato to a dark-red geranium to a hydrangea. It was only when the products and plants were grouped into broad categories that trends emerged.

Best-Selling Categories

Bedding plants slightly edged out edibles in the lists, but we noticed an interesting pattern. Although bedding plants were mentioned most often by garden retailers, bedding plants were often the retailers’ No. 3 bestseller. When a vegetable or herb was included, in contrast, it was most often in the No. 1 slot.

“I sell a lot of veggies. Flowers as well, but veggies dominate,” says Patricia Niedrich, manager of Clovers Garden Centers in Norridge, Ill.

While plants were mentioned most often, a fair number of retailers’ gift items and garden accessories made their top three. The most commonly mentioned category was fertilizer or controls, especially deer repellent. The other non-green goods represented a wide array of categories, from hummingbird feeders to fountains to a floating turtle.

Trees had almost no votes as a best-selling item, although flowering shrubs like hydrangeas and roses had a good showing.

“Customers want small, easy-to-care-for stuff,” says Bob Howard of Allen Landscape in Highland, Ind. He listed hydrangeas as his best-selling product, followed by small trees and any white-colored flowers.

Today’s Garden Center asked which flower color was the most popular with customers. While some retailers reported strong preferences within their own stores, no color emerged as an overall trend. Popular colors were pretty evenly distributed among all the choices.

More Expensive Items Are Selling Well

As a follow up, we asked for the price charged for each best seller. Most best-selling products were well priced. Only vegetable plants and some annuals were priced less than $5. Most items makeing the list were above that mark, with larger products like shrubs, fountains and container gardens carrying price tags of more than $20.

“We thought we would display our windchimes and Parasol hummingbird feeders outside this spring, and the sales results have been very positive with multiple sales in the categories daily,” says Tom Oswald of JAM’n Designs in Atlanta. His hummingbird feeders range in price from $15 to $75, depending on the model.

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