Big Box Comparison

The Walmart stores in North Carolina have upped their game with low prices and beautiful product.

From Lowe’s to Home Depot, not all big-box offerings are the same. In this side-by-side comparison, growers see which parts of the country boast the best Walmart stores.

Southern California

As always, of the big boxes and chains, Walmart had the lowest prices and the smallest inventories of green goods. This year, however, it is launching the Better Homes & Gardens-branded annual program. The first product is an 8-inch combination consisting of two petunias and one bacopa. It retails for $5.98, the same price point as the Dümmen 8-inch Confetti. The recipe was not very colorful, and in some stores, the petunias overgrew the bacopa, but all in all, a very reasonable price point. The container was a dark, lime green with a lot of print, including planting instructions.

One noticeable change from last year is Bonnie Plants has regained all of the vegetable space back from the generic market Walmart ran last year. This is probably a smart idea since Bonnie is so well respected and followed by the consumer. Color Spot has a generic vegetable program with Walmart, but its footprint is very small.

South Florida

The hot new program for Walmart is certainly the Better Homes and Gardens (BH&G) program that appeared on the shelves of six of the 10 stores I visited. The program consisted of the following sizes:

• Quart retail – $3.68
• 8-inch combo retail – $5.98
• 12-inch hanging basket – $15.98
• 12-inch patio combo – $15.98

Some stores merchandised the product on carts with a colorful header board, while others put it on tables or risers. This program seemed to be dominated by yellow shades with recipes that did not wow. The packaging and labeling were well done, but the label visibility would be greatly improved if the stores employed the use of a locking label.

The recognition of BH&G as a brand of leading experts in the lawn and garden category, partnered with this global retail leader, means this brand will make a positive impact.

Overall there did not seem to be much traffic in these garden centers, as evidenced by the aging inventories and a lot of missing price signs. One store was the busiest I have seen this year, with a line at the garden center register stretching back into the store. There were only two customers in the green goods area, which is probably a sign of the times.

Atlanta, Georgia

These were really impressive stores. I have not seen any Walmart stores that are comparable for a while. The merchandise was good quality, and the stores were neat and clean. Seldom did I see a missing price sign or past-prime product.

Clearly Metrolina Greenhouses knows how to work in cooperation with each store to ensure their products are well merchandised and receive the necessary post-delivery care for maximum shelf life. Metrolina also had some of the best Wave displays I have seen because they ship a mix of light and dark colors that create a very compelling color palette. Many Wave displays I observe consist of one or two colors, but these displays always had three or more.

The BH&G displays in these stores were really outstanding with every size showing a lot of color on well-grown compact plants. With this level of product quality, BH&G is bound to be a success.

Metrolina also had a very relevant generic vegetable program, which
featured a 1-gallon retailing for $4 and a 1-pint retailing for $1.15. This is a
seemingly good consumer alternative to the branded vegetables.

The one new item that really stood out was an 8-inch combo pot called Pop In that was positioned to be dropped in a larger container. It was the most attractive combo I saw during the entire trip through Atlanta; when you entered the garden center, it immediately drew your attention. And for $5.98, you have to believe it’s a home run for Walmart and Metrolina.

Charlotte, North Carolina

Walmart has some really great stores with a nice assortment of products in good color in North Carolina. Most noticeably, the stores are well-organized and showcase creative displays. Between the Atlanta stores and the Charlotte stores, Metrolina Greenhouses clearly is a first class vendor. Somehow they get things accomplished in each store that others struggle with, and whatever they do, it results in good, consistent products on the shelves with well merchandised displays. On average, I would guess these stores have much higher customer traffic than any other area I visited.

Some of the best patio pots were in the Walmart stores, most notably a 14-inch container retailing for $29.95. It was one of the most colorful combos I have seen this season. The two recipes that really stood out were Fire & Ice and Hot Pink Jazz. Another item that really looked outstanding was the Calliope geranium in a 12-inch patio pot with a retail price of $14.98. What a great value.

The BH&G program was well executed, although you wonder about the recipes consisting of mostly yellows and orchid shades. The packaging and point-of-sale materials all seem to blend together to create a separate identity for the program.

Topics: ,

Leave a Reply

More From Top 100 Growers...
Costa Farms won International Grower of the Year. Representing the operation, (left to right) were Chuck Zala, Michael Vera, Menachem Ganon, Jose Costa, and Mike Rimland

May 24, 2016

AIPH Seeking Entries For Its International Grower of the Year Awards

The International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH) is inviting ornamental growers from all around the world to enter the AIPH International Grower of the Year Awards (IGOTY) for 2017. Last year’s big winner was Florida-based Costa Farms.

Read More
Top 100 Drone Image Feature

May 16, 2016

Greenhouse Grower’s Top 100 Growers Talk Technology, Automation, Sustainability, And Marketing

The Top 100 Growers are already by nature some of the most technologically advanced greenhouse operations, due to their sheer size and need for efficiency. Many of the largest growers also serve big box merchandisers and home improvement chains, where prices are dictated, so producing plants at the lowest possible cost is essential to growers not only staying in business, but also profiting and expanding their operations. This year’s survey focused on the automation and technology the Top 100 Growers are investing in, and how these advancements have improved their operations, as well as how they have affected growers’ labor issues. We also asked growers about how they’re solving labor issues, where they’re recruiting new hires, and how they’re keeping their people committed. Lean management programs and sustainability certifications have become higher priorities in the past several years, due to growers’ needs to run efficiently and focus attention on sustainable […]

Read More
2016 Top 100 Growers With Drone

May 10, 2016

Reading The 2016 Greenhouse Grower Top 100 Rankings: The Big Keep Getting Bigger

Greenhouse Grower’s Top 100 Growers survey reveals continued growth among the nation’s largest operations.

Read More
Latest Stories
Costa Farms won International Grower of the Year. Representing the operation, (left to right) were Chuck Zala, Michael Vera, Menachem Ganon, Jose Costa, and Mike Rimland

May 24, 2016

AIPH Seeking Entries For Its International Grower of th…

The International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH) is inviting ornamental growers from all around the world to enter the AIPH International Grower of the Year Awards (IGOTY) for 2017. Last year’s big winner was Florida-based Costa Farms.

Read More
Top 100 Drone Image Feature

May 16, 2016

Greenhouse Grower’s Top 100 Growers Talk Technolo…

The Top 100 Growers are already by nature some of the most technologically advanced greenhouse operations, due to their sheer size and need for efficiency. Many of the largest growers also serve big box merchandisers and home improvement chains, where prices are dictated, so producing plants at the lowest possible cost is essential to growers not only staying in business, but also profiting and expanding their operations. This year’s survey focused on the automation and technology the Top 100 Growers are investing in, and how these advancements have improved their operations, as well as how they have affected growers’ labor issues. We also asked growers about how they’re solving labor issues, where they’re recruiting new hires, and how they’re keeping their people committed. Lean management programs and sustainability certifications have become higher priorities in the past several years, due to growers’ needs to run efficiently and focus attention on sustainable […]

Read More
2016 Top 100 Growers With Drone

May 10, 2016

Reading The 2016 Greenhouse Grower Top 100 Ranki…

Greenhouse Grower’s Top 100 Growers survey reveals continued growth among the nation’s largest operations.

Read More
2016 Top 100 Growers List

May 10, 2016

2016 Greenhouse Grower Top 100 Growers: The Comp…

Check out the full list of Greenhouse Grower's 2016 Top 100 Growers, which includes nine newcomers and more growth in square footage at the top.

Read More
Scott Schaefer Aris CEO

April 22, 2016

New Aris CEO Scott Schaefer Looks Forward To Dealing Wi…

Schaefer, who has been with Aris for 15 years, grew up working at his family’s greenhouse operation in Illinois.

Read More
Top 100

March 8, 2016

Large Growers: Please Take Greenhouse Grower’s 20…

Has your operation grown in size over the past year? How have you changed your approach to investing in technology to ensure that your operation remains as efficient as possible? How are you recruiting labor and qualified growers? How can large growers work together to promote the benefits of plants, flowers, and gardening? These questions and others like them are waiting for your answers in Greenhouse Grower’s 2016 Top 100 Growers Survey. If your greenhouse square footage is 400,000 square feet or larger, you are eligible to take the survey. Putting together our Top 100 Growers report has always been a great way to track industry trends and get an overview of changes among the biggest players. Your cooperation in filling out this short survey will help make our Top 100 Growers coverage a success. The deadline for completing this survey is Friday, March 18. The Top 100 Growers report […]

Read More
Costa Farms

January 29, 2016

Costa Farms Named International Grower Of The Year

Costa Farms was the night’s biggest winner during an awards gala presented by the International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH) and held at IPM Essen in Germany. (Read more about the business culture that’s driven Costa’s success in Greenhouse Grower’s January 2016 feature story.) The Florida-based grower was named the International Grower Of The Year, and was chosen from a group that included eight other international companies. “This award is a reflection of our entire team, and we are all dedicated to being the best at what we do and making this company successful for the long term,” said Jose Costa, Executive Vice President of Costa’s foliage division. The AIPH awarded gold, silver, and bronze awards in three categories — Finished Plants And Trees, Young Plants, and Cut Flowers — prior to naming the big winner. Costa was the gold winner in the Finished Plants and Trees Category. Each of […]

Read More

January 20, 2016

Color Point Creates New Marketing And Communications De…

According to Color Point co-owner Ken VanWingerden, Maloney’s leadership in the new department will help the company better manage its recent growth both internally and with the entire industry.

Read More

January 13, 2016

Costa Farms Wins With Its Emphasis On Team, Solutions, …

Based in Miami, FL, Costa Farms has gone global by focusing on strategy, systems, and vertical integration. See how the operation continues to expand through its emphasis on team, solutions, and growth.

Read More
Costa Farms Owners

November 17, 2015

Costa Farms Named As International Grower Of The Year F…

The International Association of Horticultural Producers has announced its finalists for the International Grower of the Year award, and the list includes Costa Farms of Miami, Fla.

Read More
Tidal Creek Growers

October 17, 2015

Tidal Creek Growers Up Close And Personal [Photo Galler…

As one of the newest growers to make Greenhouse Grower's Top 100 Growers list at No. 98, Tidal Creek is a sharp operation dedicated to delivering high-quality products and top-notch customer service Check out this photo gallery to see its Davidsonville and Earlville facilities in Maryland and learn more about the operation.

Read More
Tidal Creek Growers Contract Mums

October 5, 2015

Fine-Tuning Greenhouse Contract Growing Keeps Costs In …

Tidal Creek Growers, No. 98 on Greenhouse Grower's Top 100 list, started out as a contract growing business and contracts still account for 35 percent of its business today. In order to keep costs in check and profits steady, owner Jake Van Wingerden is narrowing in on the types of crops he is willing to grow.

Read More
Top 100

May 8, 2015

2015 Greenhouse Grower Top 100 Grower List

The 2015 Top 100 Growers list represents the largest greenhouse operations in the United States. Greenhouse Grower magazine puts out a list annually based on environmentally controlled greenhouse space.

Read More
Top 100

May 8, 2015

The Top 100 Growers Tackle Crop Protection Challenges

We asked the Top 100 Growers how they have changed their production practices to address consumer concerns about pollinator health, as well as how integrated pest management and the use of biocontrols have changed their operations.

Read More
Top 100

May 8, 2015

2015 Greenhouse Grower Top 100 Growers: Reading The Ran…

For the second straight year, Greenhouse Grower’s Top 100 Growers survey shows the largest growers are rapidly expanding.

Read More
40

May 1, 2015

2015 Top 100 Growers: Young’s Plant Farm (No. 40)

Learn more about Young's Plant Farm, No. 40 on Greenhouse Grower's 2015 Top 100 Growers list.

Read More
39

May 1, 2015

2015 Top 100 Growers: Dewar Nurseries (No. 39)

Learn more about Dewar Nurseries, No. 39 on Greenhouse Grower's 2015 Top 100 Growers list.

Read More
36

May 1, 2015

2015 Top 100 Growers: Garden State Growers (No. 36)

Learn more about Garden State Growers, No. 36 on Greenhouse Grower's 2015 Top 100 Growers list.

Read More
[gravityform id="35" title="false" description="false"]