The New Garden Center Customer - Part 2

The New Garden Center Customer - Part 2

By Danny Summers


In Part 1 we reviewed how we are now in a transition of sorts where in 2019, "Baby Boomers" are projected to start a slow decline in numbers over the coming ears and where "Millennials" are projected to have overtaken Boomers in the top spot as percentage of population. Let's explore this further together...

You can revisit Part 1 of this story HERE.

In this graph shown here, as part of the Pew Research Report, you can see 2019 is indicated by the red line and how the dark gold (Millennials) and teal (Boomers) intersect. While Boomers will continue to be a big part of Garden Centers' customer base over the next 10 years, other age groups such as Millennials should be on your radar screen for connecting and building business relationships. The question is:

How do we connect?

Most likely how we connect with this younger generation will be both similar and different than Boomers. First, let's talk about your message.

The Message: Just like we attracted the Boomers (a.k.a., 60's Flower Children) topics such as health, wellness, organic, stress relief, relaxation, joy of gardening and plants as well as environmental messages can be attracting. Differences can be seen in their visions for sizes of houses, gardens, where Boomers had much larger ideas for what they wanted (larger house, big lawns, etc.).  Millennials on the other hand may have smaller, simpler visions but with quality in mind. They don't mind paying much more than Boomers if it is really what they want. 

But your message must be consistent across all of your communications as well as the experience of being in your center. That includes all marketing media as well as onsite signage. You must be authentic. It cannot come across as a sales pitch. It is not about price. If any of this is inconsistent, it will be very obvious to Millennials and the connection is lost.

Now, let's talk about some of the differences. A larger part of Millennials are not in the normal audience of traditional marketing media, such as local television, radio or even print media. A growing number do not subscribe to typical multi-channel cable or satellite systems but have video streaming services delivered by web services. Their music is delivered most likely by streaming services. They prefer mail such as normal bills to be electronic, so their regular USPS mailboxes may be starving for attention more than Boomers' these days.

So a major question may be how to get a marketing message in front of Millennials. With there being an ever-expanding number of web and app-based options, the answers may be a moving set of solutions. So don't get stuck in a rut or you may find your message not reaching your target audience.

If we are successful, we can help them find their joys of gardening and love for plants as a big part of their lives. They will pass along their "Plant Passions" to their children. And they can become an even larger driving force in the success of Garden Centers than Boomers. That will really be something to see!

In the News:  Millennials and Plants

In Part 1, I ended by giving you a little homework or hint to some recent news you can find online, just by using some current language (or hashtags). These are just some examples of trends which you can see for yourself as you explore.


Toronto Star:

“Why Millennials are becoming proud plant parents”








The New Yorker:

“The Leafy Love Affair Between Millennials and Houseplants”




NBC News:

“Why more millennials are buying into 'plant parenthood'.

The mental health benefits of houseplants are far-reaching and one generation in particular is putting their green thumb to work.”




NY Times:

“Plant-Loving Millennials at Home and at Work”.






The Guardian:

“How to grow a ‘house jungle’ - why millennials are looking for something to nurture”.







Business Insider (UK)

“Garden Day Study Finds Millennials Seek Solace in Gardens.

Young people wish they had more time to spend in their garden, walk outside or sit in a park, recognizing the positive impact that nature has on combating the stresses of modern life”.



In Summary:

We (our industry and our products) are UNIQUE.

We have what other industries only can wish for.

They wish to appear "Green."

We are "GREEN."

Our Goal...

Turn these:

Into these:

We have a bright future ahead. Be ready!


Danny Summers, Managing Director & Chief Instigator
The Garden Center Group
North America's Resource for Garden Retailing Since 2001

Return to The New Garden Center Customer - Part 1 - HERE


Share this post:

Comments on "The New Garden Center Customer - Part 2"

Comments 0-5 of 0

Please login to comment