Bower & Branch, a Leesport, PA-based group of independent family owned growers and garden retailers, recently announced that Jim Eason, founder of Eason Horticultural Resources, has joined its board of directors and has also made a financial investment in the company.
“Bower & Branch is positioned to take advantage of growing consumer demand for access to larger, mature plants through online and mobile shopping,” Eason says. “One of the biggest threats to the traditional distribution channel is the recently announced Amazon Plant Store. While both Amazon and Bower & Branch saw double and triple digit sales increases in 2017, the traditional plant distribution channel only saw low to mid-single digit increases, which were substantially made up of price increases to absorb increased costs of doing business. I believe Bower & Branch has developed a more advantageous distribution model that will better serve plant retailers of all types and the growers supplying them than the Amazon model.”
“Bower & Branch offers a dynamic portal to reach retail consumers,” says Sid Raisch, President and CEO of Bower & Branch. “Bower & Branch has made it a habit of looking ahead to prepare for future opportunities to bring more consumers together with plants. The opportunity is here and the time is now. We know homeowners will make online plant purchases and either pick them up in store or have them delivered and installed by someone they trust. In fact, more than 5,000 trees have been sold online and shipped through our e-commerce platform and distribution systems.”
In 2017, more than 400,000 consumers shopped at BowerandBranch.com, resulting in an online sales increase exceeding 100%, directly benefiting retailer members.
“This growth rate is controlled as we build infrastructure and expand our product lines and service regions further,” Raisch says. “Our business model prioritizes plant health and the health of the local economy by doing business with local retailers and growers.”
“In 2018, Bower & Branch will move to aggressively expand products lines, retailer locations, and services providers towards the end goal of a national network,” says Don Eaton, Founder of Bower & Branch. “We welcome Jim as a trusted advisor for Bower & Branch.”
Watch for more insights from Raisch and Eason about the future of online plant sales in an upcoming issue of Greenhouse Grower.