Garden stores are shaking off the last remnants of the 2008 economic crash, data from our retail State of the Industry shows.
For several years, we’ve asked garden retailers about what issues created a barrier to their spring sales. The various issues retailers identify offer a pretty good glimpse into how healthy the industry is from year to year. Some of the selections — the economy, low customer count, lack of operating cash and customer spending — will indicate how much stores are struggling. High percentages and rankings for these categories are a bad sign.
Conversely, other choices highlight an industry that is experiencing rapid growth: trying to find enough staff, supply chain issues and store space constraints.
In 2013, many of the indicators that imply a struggling store were more dominant. It was a year the industry was still struggling to recover. Then in 2014, the growth indicators were cited much more often, so much so that they ranked third, fourth, and fifth, after weather and the economy (Each year, weather is always the top barrier to sales, and that will likely never change.). The economy, unfortunately, was not giving up its second-place ranking after the weather.
This past year, however, that changed. The economy fell from the No. 2 slot all the way down to No. 7, while the growth-indicating barriers moved up to fill the slots immediately after weather.