Rocky Mountain Poinsettia Report

Two weeks ago, marketing consultant Jerry Montgomery shared his assessment of retail poinsettias at North Florida box stores. This week, he offers his thoughts on poinsettias at independent garden centers and box stores in Denver, Colo.


With less than 12 shopping days left, the roads were clogged and some retailers were extremely busy on Saturday, Dec. 13. Poinsettia inventories were fairly large, and most retailers were offering discounted prices ranging from 20 to 25 percent. At the national retailers, inventories were 90 percent red whereas independents like Paulino’s Garden Center, Echter’s, and Tagawa Garden Center offered an array of colors, novelties and painted poinsettias.

Paulino’s Garden Center: One of the best marketers of poinsettias anywhere, featuring high-quality products that are very well merchandised on tables with appropriate spacing. They have really used the painted concept to differentiate themselves with unique artistic offerings.

Echter’s Garden Center: A high-end retailer offering a nice array of poinsettias well merchandised on tables and nicely spaced. They do not seem to place a large emphasis on poinsettias with more focus on Christmas décor.

Tagawa Garden Center: Another premium garden center in the Denver market offering a wide selection of poinsettias, all merchandised on tables and all spaced so it was easy for the consumer see each plant. What was most interesting is there are practically no broken plants when they are given a little extra space and, of course, the plants display better. With spacing, the consumers rarely had to pull plants out of the displays because they could easily determine the size and shape.

There was not much emphasis on painted poinsettias with two small displays, but Tagawa did have signage that indicated the price for painting any of their poinsettias.

Home Depot
Offered some of the best quality we have seen with more than half of the inventory sold un-sleeved. From the look of the inventory, the sell-through was good. The offer was estimated at 85 percent red with some novelties and one SKU of glittered in a 6.5-inch pot with a nice upgraded container that’s much more attractive than the container used in the Florida market. There were no painted poinsettias in their offer.

As we observed in Florida, Lowe’s had more SKUs than any other national retailer with huge inventories. They did the best job of spreading the products around the store for maximum exposure. Lowe’s did not offer any painted poinsettias.

Walmart is really simplifying its product offering with four basic price points: $4, $7, $10 and $17. It is seemingly a good strategy that is designed to offer their customers price points that move volume. There were no painted poinsettias in the offer. Walmart also had a very consistent and compelling look in its displays with almost all poinsettias in a highly visible green/gold pot cover.

Offered a 10-inch poinsettia at $15.99 from Tagawa Greenhouses that was a great value, and it appeared as though the sales were brisk with many shopping carts containing one to three plants.

Retailers & Vendors

Retailer Store No.  City  Vendor
 Tagawa GC    Parker   Tagawa Greenhouses 

 Echter’s GC

   Wheatridge  Echter’s
 Paulino’s GC    Denver  Paulino’s
 Home Depot 1548   N. Thornton  Tagawa
 Home Depot 1524  Broomfield  Tagawa
 Home Depot 1517   Westminster  Tagawa
 Home Depot 1503  Thornton  Tagawa
 Home Depot 1502  Arvada  Tagawa
 Walmart 3867   Westminster  Color Star
 Walmart 3223  Westminster  Color Star
 Walmart 5341   Broomfield  Color Star
 Walmart 3824   Westminster  Color Star
 Walmart 1231   Thornton  Color Star
 Walmart 2115   Lakewood  Color Star
 Lowe’s 1630   Lakewood  Color Star
 Lowe’s 0102   Aurora  Color Star
 Lowe’s 2432   N. Westminster  Color Star
 Lowe’s 1989   Westminster  Color Star
 Lowe’s 0340   Arvada  Color Star
 Lowe’s 0246   Northglenn  Color Star
 Costco    Westminster  Tagawa
















Retail Prices Denver Market

Item Size Home Depot Lowe’s Walmart Tagawa Paulino’s Echter
Poinsettias  4.5″  3.27  3.28   9.99   6.49  12.95
W. Rose  4.0″            8.95
   5.5″  3.97          
   6.0″     $4       
   6.5″  7.97  7.98    19.99  16.49  17.99
W. Rose  7.5″            39.95
   8.0″    12.98  $10  39.50  26.99  
   10.0″  15.97  21.98  $17  49.99  44.99  49.50
   12.0″          79.99  
Single Stem  12.0″    24.98        
   14.0″    29.98        
H. Basket            24.99  
H. Basket  10.0″        39.99  45.99  
Ice Punch    9.97          
Glittered  6.5″  9.97  8.98  $7      
Painted  6.5″        24.99  39.99 26.95 
Painted  3.5″        7.99    
Painted  4.5″        12.99    
Painted  8.0″        46.99    
Painted  10.0″        57.99    
Painted  12.0″        69.99    
Cactus  4.0″    4.97        
Cactus  6.0″    8.97        
Cactus  8.0′    12.97        




















In my extensive travels this year viewing 20 major markets and visiting 971 retail stores, Denver clearly has a better managed, more successful independent garden centers than most metro areas. This is in my opinion due to two significant factors, one being the decline of the carnation industry in the 1970s caused growers to look for alternative crops. While many turned to producing bedding plants others became retail growers before the dominant era of the big boxes.

The second factor: With Denver situated geographically 500 miles away from other major markets, when the big boxes did arrive they had limited vendors who were capable or willing to serve their needs.

It seems as though the painted poinsettia concept has been relegated to the independent garden centers. I saw none in any major retailer this season. Every national retailer did have glittered plants, but in most cases the quantity of glitter used on each plant was so minimal there was little impact.

Leave a Reply

4 comments on “Rocky Mountain Poinsettia Report

  1. Painted poinsettias have so much potential it isn’t funny. But fogging blue or purple (or other colors) over top of white is not the way to go. For a year or two it was novel, but not a big draw in box stores. As an independent, working with the color pallette of paints is THE way to make high end, profitable poinsettias. Let the box store shovel out the mediocre.

  2. Painted poinsettias have so much potential it isn’t funny. But fogging blue or purple (or other colors) over top of white is not the way to go. For a year or two it was novel, but not a big draw in box stores. As an independent, working with the color pallette of paints is THE way to make high end, profitable poinsettias. Let the box store shovel out the mediocre.

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