With inflation impacting purchases from the grocery store to the gas station, gardeners are taking note of higher prices, according to a recent report from Simple Spring. With the holidays fast approaching, the new data platform released its Grownomics Report on current perceptions and future projections.
Simple Spring surveyed 1,012 participants of The Great Grow Along virtual garden festival as well as gardeners at large in the U.S. between Aug. 1 and Sept. 15. Of those surveyed, 50% said they do the majority of their garden shopping at independent garden centers, said Peter Wigren, founder and CEO of Simple Spring.
Garden retail spending
Garden Center magazine’s 2022 State of the Industry Report found that 92% of IGCs raised their plant prices this year, and Simple Spring's survey found that the majority of customers have taken note of those increased prices in all categories from plants to hard goods. On average, less than 20% of survey respondents say they haven’t noticed or are unsure if gardening product prices have risen this year.
“Gardening is still going strong and garden centers will still benefit from people wanting to spend. But there definitely will be a decline,” Wigren said.
But just because consumers are noticing higher prices doesn’t mean they aren’t shopping at IGCs. Just like our State of the Industry Report showed steady spending in spring of 2022, the Simple Spring report found that in 2022, 60% of gardeners spent more or the same amount as 2021.
“We find it interesting that there’s a lag between when people noticed [prices increases] and when they started caring,” Wigren said. “They said that they noticed and that it will affect them going forward, but it didn’t affect them during the spring.”
Holiday spending projections
Consumers are noticing higher prices all over, and many are expecting to curb their holiday spending. “I think the message is that people have noticed inflation, they are going to spend less during the holidays for that reason and that will have an impact,” Wigren said.
Of particular interest to IGCs, the report found that nearly half of those surveyed plan to spend less on Christmas trees, and almost 60% are planning to spend less on holiday décor, whether they’re shopping at an IGC or elsewhere.
“There’s a significant percentage that say they will cut back during the holidays, but there’s also a significant amount of people that say it will have no impact on their spending,” Wigren said. “So there seems to be a segment of the population that is comfortable in their financial situation. And so even though they have noticed prices going up, it will not affect the way they spend during the holidays.”
For more information
Simple Spring will full its full data platform in January, with information on 2023 predictions. “Simple Spring surveys are forward looking. A lot of the industry is looking backwards. We’re trying to give garden centers and other entities in the industry a glimpse of the future instead of just stating what‘s happened in the past,” Wigren said.
One key piece of information for next year is that 94% of consumers surveyed said they’ll be looking for discounts in the coming year — clearances most of all.
“Clearance sales appear to be more popular than loyalty programs,” Wigren said. “It was certainly interesting to us to see that you might think that BOGO or loyalty programs might be the most effective, but it was actually clearance sales that came through.”
For more insights, visit Simple Spring’s Grownomics Report full online report here.