Mother’s Day is always a busy holiday weekend for garden centers across the country. The National Retail Federation recently stated that spending on Mother’s Day flowers has grown by a third over the past 10 years, and this past Mother’s Day one retailer felt the impact of just that.
Mick Mulhall, president of Mulhall’s in Omaha, Nebraska, and member of the Garden Center Executive Summit Advisory Board, gave us a glimpse into one of the biggest holiday weekends for IGCs. The one thing that reigned supreme over all other products at Mulhall’s during the weekend — plants.
Garden Center: How were your sales leading up to Mother’s Day this year?
MM: We started the year strong, but a late spring and significant rains put us behind plan going into the [Mother’s Day] weekend.
GC: What were your biggest sellers and most popular items this year?
MM: Plants. But seriously, we’ve really been leaning into our core these past few years, and we’ve been selling a lot more plants to a lot of new people: houseplants, seasonal color and nursery stock stand out.
GC: How do this year’s Mother’s Day sales compare to last year’s?
MM: This was the biggest Mother’s Day weekend we’ve ever had. Biggest hour, day and weekend since 1956.
GC: What trends have you seen over the past five years in Mother’s Day gift purchasing at your IGC?
MM: They want our plants and we’re not mad about it. We’re no longer selling much for inside the home. At least that isn’t alive. And a lot of the square footage we’ve freed up has been transitioned to what we do best: more plants, garden supplies, patio furniture and seasonal decorations.