March 11, 2012
Spring and the growing season will soon be upon us. Many will flock to garden and flower centers to spend on gardening necessities to either spruce up your property or get a jump on planting those vegetable and fruit gardens. It is big business and entrepreneurial opportunities are plentiful if you know the gardening industry, conduct your own research, and find your niche.
Gardening Industry Statistics
According to First Research, the US garden center and farm supply industry is a $30 Billion, 16,000 establishment industry. Those 16,000 businesses generate much employment for the US, with the US Census Bureau estimating well over 350,000 employees, with total payroll salaries exceeding $10 Billion.
In Canada the statistics are proportionate as well, with the industry approaching $3 Billion in revenue annually, with relatively similar levels of employment and salaries.
Gardening Industry Challenges
Most research firms have identified key industry challenges including competition across the industry, changing regulations with products, and economic ties to the housing market. Consumers are also very cautious with expenditures, such as outdoor plant and landscape product spending, that would tend to be on the discretionary expenditure side. However, where there are challenges, opportunities open up and exist for new entrants in niche areas.
Along with the sale of normal bedding and landscaping plants, garden and nursery centers are expanding to offer new breeds of tropical plants that can withstand some North American climates. Genetics plays a role in some of these new strains of plants.
Garden centers have also diversified their product lines to add in different decorative garden supplies and new composite concrete products for landscaping. Product offerings extend into the indoor plant and decorative arena, as these sales help offset the off-season, low sales period of outdoor plant and garden sales.
Opportunities and Growth in Niche Green Gardening
Another gardening industry area that is experiencing growth is in green gardening, environmental gardening, with use of safe products and growing interest in organic gardening. Growth in organic green gardening is estimated to be in the range of 5-10% annually. One of the most relevant reasons is the changing consumer attitude and landscape towards the use of herbicides and pesticides. Organic green gardening is completely void of the use of any herbicide or pesticide. Not good for herbicide or pesticide suppliers, but excellent for garden centers who promote, sell and are specialists in organic gardening products and techniques.
- Organic Pest Control
- Composting and Recycling
- Natural Grub Control
- Easy Organic Gardening
- Grow Your Own Fruits & Vegetables
- Sustainable Gardening
- Safer, Natural Lawn Care
If you are an entrepreneur searching for opportunities in the gardening and garden center industry, as always, conduct your own due diligence and plan well. Although challenges exist, so do opportunities, especially in niche areas. Adequate research and business planning will be required.
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