“At first, we laughed at fairy gardening,” quipped Marshall Home and Garden owner Dave Schemenauer. “Not anymore — our Woodland Knoll line has given us the fastest growth we’ve seen in 20 years, and we don’t see any sign of it slowing down.”
For a product that many in the garden industry once considered a fad, fairy gardening has quickly established itself as its own dynamic category. In fact, Garden Center magazine recently ranked fairy gardening as a top five growth category in every market region as determined by their reader survey. “That’s a remarkably strong number,” noted Mr. Schemenauer, “especially when you consider that many of those respondents still haven’t gotten on the fairy bandwagon.”
There are five things a new retailer needs to understand about fairy gardening:
1. The demographics are ideal for garden centers.
Your primary customer is the same 40+ year-old woman who already loves putting up a miniature holiday village every winter. In addition, parents and grandparents of all ages love creating memories together with their little ones.
2. It’s not a small sale.
It’s common for someone to spend $80 to $100 on their initial purchase and then come back repeatedly throughout the year to complete "their story". In fact, many retailers report repeat customers spending $600 to $800 over the course of the year.
3. Look at the faces!
It’s really important to have fairies that have realistic faces. Mr. Schemenauer noted, “Cartoonish faces don’t sell well. People want realistic, pretty faces, not ones that look as if a troll fathered them. We have the best in the market. It’s one of the key elements that has made us the industry leader.”
4. Avoid buying kits.
While Woodland Knoll offers some great value kits, they’ve learned people really want to create their own story rather than purchase a prepackaged collection. This is great news for garden centers, as customers often spend more money assembling their own collection. The key is to have enough variety to choose from... and then watch as they sell themselves.
5. Display, display, display.
Some retailers invest in creating amazing custom fairy garden displays to inspire their customers. Luckily for those without the time or staff to do so, Woodland Knoll offers 4 different store displays free of charge. “We have found retailers sell almost 3 times the volume by having a display set up for inspiration,” says Mr. Schemenauer. So the smartest money you can spend ... is actually free.
Mr. Schemenauer concluded, “We got into fairy gardening because it was good business; what surprised us is just how much we have fallen in love with it … and isn’t combining fun and profit the best combination of all?”
We couldn’t agree more.
For more information, visit www.marshallhomeandgarden.com