The tinkling song of a wind chime is a welcome sound in any garden, and they are great products to stock in your IGC. Consumers can give them as gifts or buy them for their own gardens, decks or patios. Or, like Leslie Halleck mentions in her column, place them in your front yard garden for your neighbors to enjoy.
“Wind chimes don’t change a lot because people like basic wind chimes. We bring in some that have butterflies dangling off the bottom, and they sell OK, but basic wind chimes are what people tend to go to,” says Shannon Fitzgerald, gift store manager at Oakland Nurseries in Columbus, Ohio.
Oakland Nurseries’ bestsellers are brass and sterling silver. Fitzgerald says that black chimes and woody bamboo chimes have seen a rise in popularity since last year. Millennial customers gravitate toward colorful chimes, while customers 40 and over stick with basic chimes. They have about 60 chimes in stock, and prices range from $9.99 to $500.
“Woodstock [Chimes] is probably our biggest brand. I have a whole wall dedicated to Woodstock. I have no problem selling that one,” she says. “And then Carson’s is another great wind chime company.”
Fitzgerald says customers prefer deeper toned chimes, and Marcy Plattner, owner of The Garden Spot in Bellingham, Washington, agrees. Plattner says the deeper tones sell better.
The Garden Spot carried several brands of wind chimes over the years, but Plattner favors Music of the Spheres due to the line’s tone quality and customer service. She also stocks Woodstock Chimes. Plattner’s favorite is the Music of the Spheres Quartal Contrabass chime, which sells for $2,000 and is 11.5 feet long.
“The tone on the Contrabass holds for over a minute and when you play, the harmonic tones reach deep in your soul,” she says. “It is a very large chime, that is why we sell only one a year, but having it available to listen to benefits the sale of our other Music of the Spheres chimes.”
The Garden Spot often ships its chimes directly because shoppers can listen to every chime on the website before they buy.
Gail Stroh, buyer for The Bruce Company in Middleton, Wisconsin, has a large stock of chimes for customers to peruse. They carry QMT Corinthian Chimes, Woodstock Chimes, Music of the Spheres, Carson Memorial Chimes, North Country Wind Bells, Cohasset Bamboo chimes and a few others.
“Woodstock Chimes is our largest line, which includes traditional aluminum tube chimes, glass crystal chimes and some bamboo chimes. Our next bestseller would be Corinthian Chimes in various colors and tones. The traditional black always sells well, but the newer blue, red and purple finishes are also great,” she says.
Carson Gift Memorial chimes have poems written on each tube, which are popular for memorial gifts. Most of their aluminum tube chimes are tuned to a musical scale or melody, and the Woodstock chimes are tuned to songs like Amazing Grace and Pachelbel’s Cannon.
A newer chime Stroh stocks is the Moksha line of glass beaded and iron bell chimes. She also stocks glass chimes from Apricot Mint, which include small images of animals or birds with glass beads and stones with bells on the end. Regardless of the trend, chimes remain a popular staple.
“Wind chimes have not died at all. I mean, it is still one of the top things that sell in a garden center,” Fitzgerald says.