Ian Baldwin Offers Examples From Grower-Retailers on Price Increase Strategies

Note: The following is the latest blog posting by garden retail industry consultant Ian Baldwin. It was originally posted on April 17, 2017, and is a follow up to his previous “Aim High This Spring” posting on spring pricing.

If you are reading this, it must be raining or you just need some light relief. Time is valuable for companies receiving 50% of the year’s sales in 10 weeks.

When I said the next blog would be about quick-fix increases, little did I know that some of our blog readers would weigh in with such great examples. Thank you for sharing from the trenches:

1. A Little Can Go a Long Way

For starters, think of easy small increases on big volumes. Adding 25 to 50 cents to something that sells thousands of units in a few weeks, like 3½-inch vegetables or annuals, yields significant extra margin dollars, without raising a flag to customers. Even though it requires extra labor hours to adjust the POS system, the work is a good investment. Another advantage of this tactic is that most of these increases can be covered by simply changing the price on a shelf or bed-talker rather than individual item pricing. Just remember to keep those few known value items competitive.

2. Affordable Luxury

Now, think of substantial increases on high-ticket lines, which move slower but impact sales when they do. Identify specialty lines such as finished custom planters, large individual specimen plants, and unique lines in your area. The things that consumers buy infrequently, such as patio furniture (hot after a recession lull), high-end-grills, upscale yard-art, statues (also hot this year), fountains (ditto), plus high-end or larger pottery: things that often have a value perception based on pride, ego, status, or self-indulgence.

Larger increases of $25 to $100 on these less-frequent purchases in the $250 to $2,500 range would certainly cover the cost of changing the price. Think of your outdoor living décor items that people have gone without for the last few years such as arbors, trellises, shade structures, lighting, and benching. Specimen plants have higher value perception. Things like Japanese maples, multi-stemmed birch, flowering dogwoods, trellised fruit, or larger trees for shade and privacy also fall into this category. Look at larger plant sizes in the more basic lines that tell a story such as “Hide the neighbors for $300” and sell the emotional benefit.

3. Convenience Has a Value

A 3-gallon heirloom tomato showing fruit turning color is worth more than $40 to many consumers. A pot of fresh, still-growing herbs is worth double those wilting bundles from who-knows-where in a grocery store. Pre-planted pots to “Grow Your Own Salsa” have a higher value-perception, as do roses in gorgeous fragrant flower or ready-to-eat snap-peas on a mini-trellis — never mind what the landed price was.

Finally: D.I.N. (Do It Now)

Although it might seem too late to change this year, read Ron Vanderhoff’s comment on my last blog. Do not wait until the next receiving cycle to enact these new strategies — that could be a whole year away, and business costs are rising daily. As product is received, inventoried, and put into retail, ask yourself, “What could I get for this item?” Then ask yourself if the total extra cost of changing the price is more than made up by the extra dollars gained. If the answer is yes, do it now.

In closing, if you click on my last blog, you’ll see that the interaction in the comments section is as valuable and thought-provoking as the original post. So we’d love to hear from you: What is one item or category you have changed the price on this season, or one surprise you found as you started to investigate pricing?

Topics: ,

Leave a Reply

2 comments on “Ian Baldwin Offers Examples From Grower-Retailers on Price Increase Strategies

  1. 15-17 years ago I started doing some math, 10 cents on every four pack would create a 20k profit increase, wow!!!. Little did I know at the time that after 6 years and a total increase of 50 cents I was beginning to turn customers away. Over the last 7 years we have migrated to a value priced strategy on high volume items like 4 packs. This decision was made due to decreasing unit volume, and the perception that we were higher priced than our competition. After seven years of progress unit volume has increased every year even with margins at a lower percent, dollar margin has increased (yay more money). That being said we constantly evaluate our pricing strategies and Ian’s insight is quite valuable because there are a lot of products that can’t be scanned by the Amazon App (but fewer every day). My thoughts are to look for the “unique and difficult to compare” and add margin. Ultimately evaluate your overall margin and make sure its going up, not down, or you might be going down with it. Just be careful and don’t keep increasing year after year on known value items as Ian wisely points out.

  2. Ian, your perception might be that everyone has loads of money to spend. When prices creep up, I notice and I don’t buy as much. I also start looking around when I see a store pushing prices up too much. I know folks need to make a profit and growing and maintaining live stock is a lot of work, but everything else in my everyday life is pushing up too in price and there’s less to go around. For folks who have the money to buy a $40 tomato plant or pre-made containers, charge away. I guess they can afford the instant gratification. The rest of us can’t.

More From Retailing...
Hydrangea mac. Fire Island (Monrovia Nursery)

September 19, 2017

Grower-Retailers Pick Their Favorites From Farwest 2017

Members of The Garden Center Group once again named their top selections in both live and hard goods for the Retailers’ Choice Awards at Farwest 2017.

Read More
Trends Slide - No Logo

September 12, 2017

Garden Media Group’s 2018 Trends Report Highlights Nature’s Contribution to Mental Wellness

This year’s Garden Trends report offers seven trends that you can use to inspire mental wellness. Take a look to see how many trends you’re already using to connect with your customers.

Read More
GCA Bathroom Winner Wingards Market 1

September 8, 2017

Garden Centers of America Announces Best Bathroom Award Winners

If you’re a grower-retailer, your restroom may end up being the most important part of your customers’ experience. Find out the big winners of this year’s Garden Centers of America’s Best Bathroom Awards.

Read More
Latest Stories
Hydrangea mac. Fire Island (Monrovia Nursery)

September 19, 2017

Grower-Retailers Pick Their Favorites From Farwest 2017

Members of The Garden Center Group once again named their top selections in both live and hard goods for the Retailers’ Choice Awards at Farwest 2017.

Read More
Trends Slide - No Logo

September 12, 2017

Garden Media Group’s 2018 Trends Report Highlights Natu…

This year’s Garden Trends report offers seven trends that you can use to inspire mental wellness. Take a look to see how many trends you’re already using to connect with your customers.

Read More
GCA Bathroom Winner Wingards Market 1

September 8, 2017

Garden Centers of America Announces Best Bathroom Award…

If you’re a grower-retailer, your restroom may end up being the most important part of your customers’ experience. Find out the big winners of this year’s Garden Centers of America’s Best Bathroom Awards.

Read More

August 29, 2017

7 Popular Retail Trends from the 2017 IGC Show

Almost every type of retail garden product imaginable filled the booths on the tradeshow floor at the 2017 IGC Show held in August in Chicago, from pots and containers to garden tools, patio furniture, and decorative items. Here are seven gardening and product trends that stood out at the show.

Read More

August 21, 2017

50 Cool Products on Display at the 2017 IGC Show

Check out these cool products vendors showed off at the 2017 IGC Show on the Navy Pier in Chicago, August 15-17.

Read More
griffin-expo

August 15, 2017

Griffin Becomes Newest Distributor for Master Nursery G…

The agreement allows Griffin to join Master Nursery’s network of more than 150 supplier partners, while giving Master Nursery access to new product and service options for member businesses in the Midwest, Rocky Mountain, and Pacific Northwest regions.

Read More
Decorative Premium Hanging Baskets (Ainong USA)

July 25, 2017

16 Products That Garden Retailers Loved at Cultivate’17

In what has become an annual tradition at Cultivate, a team of garden retailers presented awards for their picks as the best new products (both live goods and hard goods) from Cultivate’17.

Read More

July 11, 2017

Grower-Retailers Invited to Help Pick Their Favorite Pr…

The Garden Center Group is inviting grower-retailers to join them on their quest to highlight the best new retail products on display at Cultivate’17.

Read More
Hort Couture Farm to Table Display

July 7, 2017

New Marketing and Retail Display Ideas to Boost Your P…

Innovative marketing displays and retail concepts at California Spring Trials 2017, inspired by popular consumer trends and the need to encourage consumer success, overflowed with exciting new ways to promote plants.

Read More

June 19, 2017

IGC Show Features Talks on How to Cash in on the Buy Lo…

This year’s event, which takes place Aug. 15-17 in Chicago, also includes a free workshop on what you might do when starting your business over from scratch.

Read More
Robert O'Neill

May 11, 2017

Former SEAL Team Six Leader to Address Attendees at IGC…

Robert O’Neill is a highly decorated combat veterans and the author of the just-published memoir, “The Operator: Firing the Shots That Killed Osama bin Laden and My Years as a SEAL Team Warrior.”

Read More

April 24, 2017

Ian Baldwin Offers Examples From Grower-Retailers on Pr…

In March, Baldwin wrote a blog advising grower-retailers to consider raising their prices this spring. The post inspired a number of creative suggestions.

Read More
Ian Baldwin

March 31, 2017

Ian Baldwin: Aim High With Your Pricing This Spring

In his latest blog posting, the garden retail consultant says consumers are spending more today, which means it’s a good time to consider raising your prices.

Read More
GCA Summer Tour 2017 Andersons Newport Beach

March 23, 2017

Garden Centers of America Unveils Stops on Its Summer T…

Registration for the event, which includes visits to several garden centers each with their own unique highlights, is now open.

Read More
MSU Guide To Attracting Pollinators

March 9, 2017

New Guide on Bee-Friendly Plants Available From Horticu…

The guide is designed to help grower-retailers educate and motivate their customers to purchase and plant pollinator-friendly materials.

Read More
Grapevine Balls, Glass House, and Galvanized Dish Gardens (Flori-Design, Inc.)

March 6, 2017

Cool Product Awards from Garden Retailers Announced at …

This year’s Tropical Plant Industry Exhibition (TPIE) once again served as a great spot for the Cool Product Awards, an annual collaboration between TPIE, Florida Nursery Growers and Landscape Association, and The Garden Center Group.

Read More
Nursery Photo

March 6, 2017

How Great Photos Can Help You Sell More Plants

More consumers than ever want to see what a product looks like before they buy it, and that includes plants. Here are some tips on taking top-notch photos at your nursery or garden center.

Read More

February 28, 2017

Registration Now Open For IGC Show in Chicago

Find out how you can save on early registration, and get a sneak peek at what’s new at this year’s event aimed at independent garden centers.

Read More