Wrapping up this spring, you can see the post-spring weather report and the results of the Industry Pulse survey at Today's Garden Center magazine. Sounds like it was a wet spring for the northeast, but really great in other regions of the country. Our survey showed that foot traffic was up, but the average ticket was down this year.
The most interesting thing to come out of this spring has to be the retailers' growing reliance on a just-in-time live goods policy. Retailers went back to growers to replenish supply during the spring, making fewer inventory purchases before the season started. What will this mean for next year?
It sounds like a good idea, but what if we do find a way to get young people into the garden center, and the shelves are bare? A ridiculous oversupply is no good, but running out of product isn't good either. Is the JIT balance easier to manage than I'm thinking, or are we up for several years of tinkering with this system to make it work?
And how with this affect the grower side? Will growers keep growing enough on spec to keep up with these last-minute orders? I guess they'll have to if they want to sell all they can through the independents and not miss any opportunities.