Montgomery’s Orlando Retail Report

Introduction
It was an ideal day for gardening, as well as shopping with temperatures of 55°F at a.m. rising to 85°F by the p.m. hours. Consumers were out in droves during the a.m. hours, but the traffic subsided dramatically in the afternoon.

Bedding plants, perennials and vegetables were moving well with the top selling annual appearing to be the T-18 landscaper tray. In the vegetables category, both seed and plants were selling well along with tremendous volumes of potting soil, top soil and mulches. There was also good movement in foliage plants that double as landscape plants in this market.

We visited two independent garden centers, but both were more focused on landscape plants, fountains and containers, so there was little to report about annuals and perennials.

Home Depot
Home Depot clearly has improved its products, quality and merchandising with better color, plant size and improvements in accuracy of pricing. Every item had the correct price card. The overall look of the interior of the garden centers was clean, neat and well organized.

On the outside aprons, Home Depot seems to have more emphasis on bagged goods, patio stone and larger trees and shrubs with most of the color on the interior of the garden center.

Home Depot uses more plant brands than the other national retailers–VIVA!, Vigoro, Florida Friendly Plants, Wave and Bonnie Plants.

Lowe’s
Lowe’s had really impressive displays with great color and the right plant size, giving it a very compelling look. At Lowe’s, we saw some of the best geraniums–a 6-inch SKU consistently with five to six flowers per plant, where we normally see one to three flowers.

Lowe’s also had the best dahlias with good plants, size and loads of flowers. The same held true for New Guinea impatiens. Merchandise of this quality and look clearly is a challenge to any independent garden center with which Lowe’s competes.

Lowe’s offers most of its premium annuals in the Garden Club Select house brand, but it also offers some interesting programs (i.e. Strawberry Petunia and Yellow Petunia), both with separate SKUs and identity at premium prices. Smart, huh? Costa Farms does a great job mixing petunias and other items by putting two contrasting colors in the same basket.

Lowe’s also, in my opinion, maximizes the impact of its outdoor aprons with great colorful displays. The aprons are the highest impact areas and the first thing anybody driving into the parking lot sees.

Wal Mart
Walmart has made huge improvements in their Orlando stores with good quality plants showing lots of color that clearly improves the shopping experience. It appears Walmart has reduced the number of SKUs, focusing on the high-volume items and eliminating most of the “cute stuff.” Its garden centers look better than ever from my observations.

Along with SKU management, Walmart has really simplified prices. It rounds off either to full dollars or half-dollars (i.e. $3, $3.50 or $4). This strategy really makes pricing easy to understand and simplifies signage.

Costco
Costco was focused primarily on Easter offering the following items:
– 10-inch hydrangeas retailing at $14.98
– 10-inch 3ppp Easter lily retailing at $16.99
– 6-inch orchid. ceramic pot retailing at $19.99
– 10-inch bromeliad garden retailing at $19.99

All items were excellent quality, and the Easter lilies seemed to be moving at the best rate.

Sam’s Club
Sam’s offered mostly Easter items but did have two outdoor garden offerings.
– Three 6-inch Easter lilies retailing at $15.88
– 10-inch Easter lily 3ppp retailing at $15.88
– 12-inch tulips retailing at $21.62
– 10-inch hibiscus tree (braided) retailing at $14.88
– 12-inch geraniums retailing at $11.12

The 12-inch geraniums were out of bloom, appearing to have been on the shelves far too long.

Orlando Retailers & Vendors
Retailer Store Number City Vendor Grower
Home Depot 8447 Lady Lake Pure Beauty Riverview
Home Depot 0278 Leesburg    
Home Depot 8929 Apopka    
Home Depot 0263 Altamonte Springs    
Home Depot 6349 Orlando    
Home Depot 0262 Casselberry    
Home Depot 0264 Lake Mary    
Lowe’s 1685 Lady Lake Costa Farms Windmill Farms
Lowe’s 0569 Leesburg    
Lowe’s 2673 Apopka    
Lowe’s 0604 Altamonte Springs    
Lowe’s 1657 Sanford    
Lowe’s 2577 Mt. Dora    
Walmart 0955 Apopka American Farms  
Walmart 3207 Sanford    
Walmart 0857 Sanford    
Walmart 0943 Casselberry    
Walmart 0908 Orlando    
Walmart 0890 Orlando    
Walmart 0705 Mt. Dora    
Costco   Altamonte Springs White’s Nursery Kerry’s
Sam’s Club 8214 Fern Park Kurt Weiss Sunshine Growers

 

Retail Prices Orlando Metro
Item Size Home Depot Lowe’s Walmart
Annuals basic 4-inch   0.78  
  4.5-inch 0.99   0.95
  6-inch 2.97 2.48 2.50
  209     5.00
  306 3.88    
  T-18 9.96 9.98  
Annuals premium Quart 2.97    
  1G 3.97 5.98 3.50
Geraniums 6-inch 3.97   3.50
  4-inch     2.00
Wave 6-inch   3.98  
Wave 306      
Proven Winners Quart 3.97    
Proven Winners 1G 4.97    
VIVA! Quart 2.97    
VIVA! 1G 4.97    
Strawberry Petunia 1G   5.48  

Summary
After visiting 65 stores in the past three weeks, it seems as though retail sales are better than many (including myself) expected. Perhaps we were somewhat skeptical given the current economic conditions. As most anticipated, vegetable sales are strong and big ticket items are seemingly slow to move. We noticed what seemed to be far less patio pots, obviously because of their price points. We did see more 10-inch basic hanging baskets with price points under $10.

What is most positive is the tremendous increase in product quality and color we have observed from all three national retailers In-store merchandising also made the stores cleaner and easier to shop. One of my pet peeves regarding retail has been the lack of clear, concise price signage, but this is not an issue with the stores visited this spring.

Leave a Reply

2 comments on “Montgomery’s Orlando Retail Report

  1. I visit the Garden centers in Central Florida all the time. I am a retired nurseryman with lots of flex time in my schedule now.
    The quality of the plants this spring has been better than ever. Great value.
    I would hate to be competing with Lowe’s. They are by far the best in availability. The merchandising is great and the vendors and Lowe’s employees both very professional.
    Costa Colors is doing a great job, far better than their competition.

  2. I visit the Garden centers in Central Florida all the time. I am a retired nurseryman with lots of flex time in my schedule now.
    The quality of the plants this spring has been better than ever. Great value.
    I would hate to be competing with Lowe’s. They are by far the best in availability. The merchandising is great and the vendors and Lowe’s employees both very professional.
    Costa Colors is doing a great job, far better than their competition.

More From Marketing...
Petal-it-Forward

October 3, 2017

October 11 is Your Chance to Petal it Forward

The Society of American Florists’ “Petal it Forward” campaign returns in 2017. Learn how you can participate in this day of spreading kindness through flowers.

Read More
Micandy Gardens Team

September 17, 2017

4 Ways Micandy Gardens Greenhouses Reaches Out to Millennials

Micandy leverages social media to get the word out about its products and spread the word about how flowers can make a difference in people’s lives.

Read More
Costa Farms Exotic Angel Idea Book

September 12, 2017

Costa Farms’ New Lookbook Offers Consumers Ideas on Best Plants for the Home

The new “Bring Your Home to Life” lookbook is a curated collection of more than 300 unique plant varieties best suited to grow in homes and offices.

Read More
Latest Stories
Petal-it-Forward

October 3, 2017

October 11 is Your Chance to Petal it Forward

The Society of American Florists’ “Petal it Forward” campaign returns in 2017. Learn how you can participate in this day of spreading kindness through flowers.

Read More
Micandy Gardens Team

September 17, 2017

4 Ways Micandy Gardens Greenhouses Reaches Out to Mill…

Micandy leverages social media to get the word out about its products and spread the word about how flowers can make a difference in people’s lives.

Read More
Costa Farms Exotic Angel Idea Book

September 12, 2017

Costa Farms’ New Lookbook Offers Consumers Ideas on Bes…

The new “Bring Your Home to Life” lookbook is a curated collection of more than 300 unique plant varieties best suited to grow in homes and offices.

Read More
Certified American Grown Flowers

September 5, 2017

Certified American Grown Flowers Names New Third-Party …

The organization’s new partnership with Where Food Comes From Inc., an agriculture-focused certification company with more than 20 years of experience, will be launched via video conference on September 14.

Read More
Container Gardening

September 5, 2017

14 Consumer Gardening Trends That Have Stood the Test o…

In early September, the Garden Media Group will unveil its 2018 Garden Trends report. To whet your appetite, here’s a look back at several trends that remain relevant today.

Read More

August 29, 2017

Know Your Grower: New Platform Brings Consumer Transpar…

The new Follow Your Flower or Plant vignette from MPS allows consumers to learn all about the producers of the plants and flowers they see at retail, and how sustainably their products are grown.

Read More
green-plan-it-gardening-outdoor-nature-explore-classroom

August 29, 2017

First-Of-Its-Kind Federal Grant Designed to Stimulate C…

The National Initiative for Consumer Horticulture has received a USDA grant to help develop strategies and tactics to grow the practice of gardening 20% by 2025.

Read More
Luxfloraflowerrun17

July 20, 2017

Luxflora Attracted Even More Participation to its Secon…

More than 170 runners kicked off Cultivate'16 on Sunday, July 16, with Luxflora's second annual 5k race. It was a great way to start the week, participants said.

Read More
National Garden Bureau 2018 Year of the Calibrachoa

July 15, 2017

National Garden Bureau Announces Featured Plants for it…

Plant classes recognized include bulb crops (tulip), annuals (calibrachoa), vegetables/edibles (beet), and perennials (coreopsis).

Read More
cut flower arrangement

July 5, 2017

Congress Designates July as American Grown Flowers Mont…

Last week, Congressman Salud Carbajal (CA-24) introduced a bipartisan resolution designating July as “American Grown Flowers Month.” Co-sponsored by Rep. Jamie Herrera Beutler (WA-03), Rep. Jimmy Panetta (CA-20), Rep. Duncan Hunter (CA-50), Rep. Chellie Pingree (ME-01), Rep. Don Young (AK-1), Rep. Jared Huffman (CA-02), and Rep. Darrell Issa (CA-49), House Resolution 413 declares July as the month to celebrate the economic and cultural impact of America’s cut flower and greens farmers and demonstrate Congress’ commitment to support America’s flower farming families. Congressman Carbajal spoke from the House Floor, introducing the legislation and encouraging fellow members of Congress to support American Grown Flowers Month. “I have seen firsthand the value the grown flower industry adds to our economy and communities during my visits with our Central Coast growers,” said Rep. Carbajal. “California produces three quarters of all cut flowers grown in the United States. I am committed to recognizing their contribution […]

Read More
PlantHaven Team 2017

July 2, 2017

PlantHaven Wins Medal of Excellence Award for Marketing

After 20 years of making the world a more vibrant, colorful place, PlantHaven wins Greenhouse Grower’s Medal of Excellence Award for Marketing for its groundbreaking ability to connect breeders, growers, and consumers through personable advertising campaigns.

Read More

June 1, 2017

Reimagining a Brand: How Did We Do With Greenhouse Grow…

Changing the design and content strategy of a brand isn't easy, but we think the new Greenhouse Grower will help carry our innovative industry forward and allow us to better serve your information needs.

Read More
NICH Plants Do That infographic feature

April 11, 2017

New Infographic Highlights Economic Impact of Plants

A new report from the National Institute for Consumer Horticulture shows how horticulture positively affects people’s lives wherever they live, work, shop, and play.

Read More
National Garden Bureau New Website

March 22, 2017

National Garden Bureau’s New Website Features Mobile-Fr…

The new site is designed to serve as a home base to drive traffic from NGB’s social media community to one central location.

Read More

March 7, 2017

Local Florists Celebrate Women’s Day and SAF Prom…

Florists across the U.S. are celebrating International Women's Day, March 8, and raising awareness for non-profit organizations. The Society of American Florists is raising its own awareness of what happens when women receive flowers with a new video for International Women's Day.

Read More
Savor New Website

February 16, 2017

Pleasant View Launches Updated Website for its Savor Ed…

The site is designed to offer a friendly and informative vehicle that delivers product information in an easy-to-navigate format.

Read More

January 24, 2017

Beekenkamp Plants B.V. to Take Over Marketing Sunny Ost…

Beekenkamp Plants B.V. will take over Sunny Holland B.V.'s marketing activities as of July 1, 2017, and begin offering Sunny Osteospermum to the supply chain.

Read More
gg-january-2017-cover-arizonaeast-feature

January 5, 2017

Why ArizonaEast Is Expanding Its Succulent Production T…

In Greenhouse Grower's January cover story, learn how Brian and Joe Vitale of ArizonaEast saw a chance to expand and diversify their New Jersey-based succulent operation, and why they jumped at the opportunity.

Read More