Pivot to profit

Features - Cover Features: State of the Industry

A constantly changing market and boom in demand are bringing new challenges and opportunities to an industry on an upward trajectory.

November 9, 2021

The estimated 18 million new gardeners who flooded the market last year continued to hit garden centers this spring, driving spring 2021 sales over spring 2020 sales for nearly three-quarters of IGCs that participated in this year’s State of the Industry survey. Despite the challenges of staffing, supply chain issues and the always unreliable spring weather, 95% of garden centers are expecting to turn a profit this year. The increasing customer base was the biggest positive factor for garden centers over the past year, followed by the economy but staffing, as always, was the biggest challenge, followed by availability of product.

Garden centers are not only dealing with product shortage, but increased shipping costs for the materials they are able to get. In fact, only 7% of IGCs indicated that they are not impacted by rising shipping costs and only 11% said they are not experiencing plant or product shortages. Plant shortages and shipping issues are likely bumping up the number of grower-retailers, which has been steadily rising over the past five years but jumped by 10 percentage points this year alone.

Read on to see how fellow garden center owners and operators are managing the challenges and opportunities of a constantly changing market. And be sure to visit gardencentermag.com/magazine for more survey results. — Kate Spirgen

Survey methodology

We surveyed more than 300 independent garden center owners, operators and managers in the U.S. and Canada about their IGCs, their markets and trends in their areas. The following statistics were gathered via an online survey in October.

Editor’s note: Not all percentages will add up to 100% due to rounding and non-responses. Not all answer options are listed here.

To view the full report, click here: