Patio Containers In Chicago: Garden Retail Report

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It is fairly clear that many in this industry believe patio containers are important SKUs because the consumer wants the convenience of buying plant décor that can be taken home and set in place. There are thousands of recipes being offered by breeders and brokers so the choice of looks is unlimited.

Unfortunately, many of the recipes do not grow well together or flower at the same time making the patio pots, in many cases, unsalable.

While visiting the Chicago market in May and June, I was impressed with the huge array of patio containers and the number of consumer retail price points to choose from at The Home Depot. The selection at The Home Depot provided by Masterpiece Floral and Grand Flowers was the most extensive relative to sizes and consumer choice that we have seen at garden centers across the country.

It was also impressive to see all recipes flowering together, which is highly unusual and creates really compelling displays. One has to believe the sell-through is well above the average. The containers were exceptionally well merchandised, primarily on the outdoor aprons and the end caps inside.

Sizes and Retail Prices, Patio Pots
Description Size Retail Price
Infinity  6.5-inch 6.98
Summer Planter 8-inch 5.98
Infinity 10-inch 9.98
Drop ‘n’ Bloom 10-inch 14.98
Color Bowl 12-inch 14.98
Geranium Patio 12-inch 14.98
Combination 15-inch 16.98
Patio Combo 13-inch 19.98
Perennial Combo 12-inch 19.98
Combination 14-inch 24.98
Window Box 30-inch 24.98
Digitalis Patio 12-inch 24.98
Window Box 30-inch 24.98
Proven Winners Combo 14-inch 24.98
Wicker Window Box 20-inch 29.98
Patio Combo 16-inch 44.98
Doubles Handles 20-inch 59.98
Double Rim 18-inch 79.98
Patio Urn 16-inch 79.98
Patio Bowl 24-inch 79.98
Two Tier Planter 16-inch 79.98
Tall & Skinny 18-inch 129.00

This was a really well-thought-out patio container marketing program with a variance of retail price points, container sizes, container styles and a large assortment of plant recipes that had many different looks. The product mix even contained two perennial SKUs.

Jerry Montgomery (mrplug@cfl.rr.com) is a veteran of the floriculture industry who has worked for distributor companies, breeders and large growers with a focus on sales and marketing. As an industry consultant, Montgomery works for large growers, distributors and breeder/producers. His focus is to understand the market dynamics from breeder to consumer through intense retail travel, visiting about 2,700 stores since 2008.

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