Friday, April 17, 2020

Emerging Trends from Homeowners

After a month of self-containment and communicating with garden center owners, sales team members, and listening to media reports, there are some interesting developments that are changing our lawn and garden industry…maybe forever. The early signals are evident that America is gardening, or at the very least trying to. Garden centers that are open are reporting brisk curbside sales of bagged and bulk mulch, soil conditioners, manures, and various garden soils. The store’s home delivery trucks have been busier than ever. There is audible activity in the neighborhood from chain saws, shovels, and power washers when the weather cooperates. The visible activity is shown by the yard debris roadside or fresh mulched garden beds. Plants, trees, and bulbs are blooming. The grass is greening up. What we don’t see, is what’s happening on the other side of the fence.
Retailers and even internet providers are reporting outages of packaged vegetable and herb seeds. Not just their store, but the supplier, too! Something else is selling down, as these seed packs need complimentary products: pots, trays, seed starting soil, and maybe lighting. Many retailers with live vegetable and herb plants are seeing them disappear as quickly as they arrive from the grower. It just feels more than just a trend, it seems more like a purpose. It’s anyone’s guess to see how this translates into sales throughout the spring and into the summer months when people are permitted to get out and shop at a garden center again. My humble opinion is that it is only the beginning and tip of the iceberg.
We have lived most, if not all our lives in a disposable world of excess and freedom to spend our time and money leisurely as we desired. My parents were “Depression” era children who reminded me many times during my childhood that some days their dinner feast was a dozen ears of corn and loaf of bread. The return of the Victory Gardens means you grow what you can not source. It resonates with today’s consumers that are struggling to find produce in their local supermarkets. A new normal might be to home garden and be confident that you will safely be in control what you put on your dinner table. With food demand strained by availability, combined with the possible decline of many local restaurants to choose from in the future, we are on the fast track of learning how to cook our own meals, eat healthier, and in some ways, conserve by preserving leftovers. We might need to keep a closer eye on the Food Network and their easy to make recipes using fresh veggies and herbs. The consumer is adjusting. Food and beverage are the two largest connecting points in our society next to family and maybe television.
Spring is coming soon. We are in this together for the long haul adjusting our business to meet the demands of the customer. Get ready. The homeowner has prepared in their mind, that they are going to spend more time around their home and…in the garden! Are you ready for the new demands?
View our Griffin Retail catalog online for more great vendors and products for your store shelves.
Stay safe!

Store Category Check List

Seed Starting
Seed Starting has seen a huge boost in sales from customers looking to start their own garden. The threat of produce shortages and fear from perishables becoming contaminated, puts more consumers in line with growing their own.

: Jiffy, Delta, Luster Leaf, Premier, Coast of Maine, Hydrofarm, Espoma, Fox Farm

: Seed starting soils, labels, trays, coir, spray bottles, heat mats, lighting, vermiculite, perlite

Vegetables & Herbs
Another segment that is taking hold is outdoors in the garden. The cries of a renewal of the Victory Garden is ringing clear to consumers everywhere. More first-time vegetable gardeners are on the doorstep and need help and guidance in our stores.
Vendors: Smart Pot, Novelty, Bonide, Coast of Maine, Frey Brothers, Espoma, Hoffman, Fox Farm, Premier, Lambert, Gilmore, Flexon, Panacea, Lebanon, Neptune’s Harvest, Healthy Grows, Safer, Luster Leaf, Radians, Bond Mfr.
Products: Containers, watering cans, planter boxes, composts, packaged granular fertilizers, liquid fertilizers, garden soils, soil amendments, soaker hoses, trellis, cages, labels, corn gluten, organic or all-natural chemistry, gloves, manures, hardwood stakes, vinyl coated garden stakes

Bringing some green indoors is breaking out across the country in foliage and small seasonal color plants. Indoor plants continue to rake in sales with cacti, succulents, ferns, and foliage.
Vendors: Jack’s Classic, Delta, Curtis Wagner, Novelty, Bloem, Curtis Wagner, Classic Home & Garden. Deroma, Arcadia, Espoma, Hoffman,
Products: small to medium containers and plastics, terra cotta, saucers, hand sprayers, liquid fertilizers, small bag indoor potting soils, soil covers, bark, small stone, plant stands and baker racks

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