City Farmers Nursery in San Diego, California, is a family-owned garden center and nursery specializing in items not commonly found in chain stores. Priding themselves on having a balanced selection, the small business strives to be a community leader in their field. Doing so has led them to carrying Smart Pots, a product that not only pleases customers but has brought profitability.
Smart Pots is a single category that drives sales and profits in several others. A customer buying a Smart Pot should also buy soil, plants, fertilizer, they also may need stakes, plant ties, saucers etc.. Smart Pots drive sales and profits in multiple categories.
“There are a lot of advantages to it,” says Bill Tall, founder of City Farmers Nursery. “First off, they offer easy transportation. When dumping dirt, the overturn is lessened. They also have a means of letting any access material leak out, and the newer stuff has a rectangular shape to fit on balconies and such.”
The product is a general problem-solver when it comes to customers, Tall says. If anyone comes with a potting issue that the product could help with, it’s an easy suggestion that customers often opt for.
A strong testament to the product’s popularity is how long City Farmers has carried them. “We’ve just had them for so long. It would have to be since our first-ever trade show, so at least a decade if not more,” Tall says.
Part of the appeal is the fact that customer dissatisfaction is a rarity. Smart Pots’ focus on quality has helped build a good business-customer connection.
“People keep buying them and always tell us how pleased they are,” Tall says. “A lot of times, people will buy the pots even if they already have plants and transfer them.”
City Farmers sees a decent profit margin and is happy with the market. Generally everything they offer has sold well, especially the pots, and there have been no distressing expenses encountered.
Customer support plays a role to City Farmers’ success with the Smart Pots brand. Any inquiry about the products are properly noted so it can be handled with future production. It’s not as much dealing with newer implementations “as much as it is keeping up with the times,” Tall says.
When it comes to marketing, City Farmers handles this mostly themselves. Despite Smart Pots’ popularity, it’s sometimes in City Farmers’ best interest to make suggestions tailored to requests. This ensures customers are being offered the right product and of the best quality.
“We do our own,” Tall says. “They’ll give me a new product to sell and I do my best to show people how things are growing.”