Kate Spirgen
PHOTO: AMBER SMITH

It’s a great time to be an independent garden center. Profits are up, sales are good and owners are generally optimistic about their prospects for the future. In this annual State of the Industry issue, you’ll find the results of exclusive research on the current state of the independent garden center industry. Inside, we take a look and see what’s selling, what’s not and what’s changing for IGCs all across the U.S. and Canada.

In speaking with garden center owners, the general vibe is optimistic. Although the challenges of weather and staffing never seem to go away, business owners are finding ways to overcome and adapt to the ever-changing tastes of consumers.

In this year’s report, we wanted to look not only at the current state of things in the IGC world, but peer into the future of the industry as well. Inside this issue, you’ll find stories on the changing marketplace and what could be next for IGCs. From sustainable marketing to the newer generations and new online retail options to social media marketing (a big hit with generations young and old), you’ll find stories about garden centers that are shaking things up to meet the demands of their newest customers.

As online retail becomes more prominent, shoppers are beginning to turn to the web to fill their homes with houseplants. Here, you’ll find out how three IGCs on the front lines of web sales are navigating the new space and trying out a brand-new way to reach customers outside of their brick-and-mortar stores.

And as shoppers are becoming more eco-conscious, some garden centers are catering to that environmentally friendly market by showing off how they take care of the planet. You can reach about two garden centers that are having success with that tactic here.

We hope you’ll find the results of this year’s survey helpful as you plan for the coming year. If there’s any information you’d like to see, feel free to reach out to me at kspirgen@gie.net. We’re always happy to have your feedback.

Kate Spirgen
kspirgen@gie.net