Today’s Garden Center’s 2015 State Of The Industry survey was conducted in late spring, and was targeted to independent garden center retailers. More than 375 people participated in the survey, which asked a wide range of questions covering topics such as year-over-year sales, performances in specific categories and store departments (plant and non-plant), financial health and marketing efforts.
- The most reported sales increases were in the following categories: growing media/mulch, pottery, organic fertilizer, organic pest control and gifts/home accents.
- The most reported sales decreases were in the following categories: conventional pest control, garden art, conventional fertilizer, pottery and water gardening.
- There are still a number of products or categories that many garden centers are not carrying, including furniture, water gardening, birding and holiday items.
- Gifts and accents rated high in sales increases, with a particular focus on women’s fashion and accessories, jewelry, fairy gardening and wine/beer making supplies.
- Pottery, including large outdoor pots, also ranked high in sales increases.
- In terms of the highest decreases in sales, fountains and statuary took a hit this year, as did pest controls and fertilizers. In the latter categories, some respondents said the elimination of conventional materials was a big reason for the drop in sales, as organic materials may have sold well, but not enough to make up the difference.