A Season for Tropicals?

A Season for Tropicals?

by Danny Summers

With the most recent week of the Weekly Department Review (WDR), Week 45, ending on November 12th, we see the expected seasonal surge of Christmas categories now at 17.5% of total sales. At the same time, we see the Standard Greengoods categories experiencing the seasonal shift downward, now down to just 31.9% of total sales.

At the same time the Christmas categories are gaining there is one more category gaining in its position, Topical Plants Indoor/Out. This observation presents us with the question...

Is there... A Season for Tropicals?

A few weeks back I asked Tim Quebedeaux to construct a new page in our WDR system to allow seeing YTD Sales, week-by-week, by category. Below is the normal Total Sales week-by-week we see in the Big Three view. This view and the views following include all 120 Group Centers reporting this year with a YTD Total Sales of currently reporting $310 million.

One additional point to consider as you view the following charts is... your Center and Region's patterns may vary slightly, shifting a few weeks either direction in comparison to the Total Group here.

Studying the chart above is very representative of the seasonality of Garden Retail in general. I know as many of you look at this chart, you feel the amount of effort and demand in each of those weeks. Let's dig a little deeper in the Week 45 WDR.

Here's the first view of the new chart Tim created showing 2023 YTD Sales and this one isolates just our combined Standard Greengoods categories (Annual, Container Gardens, Herbs/Veggies, Perennials/Ground Covers, Shrubs and Trees). Look at the weekly sales patterns here.

Studying the Greengoods chart above, we know the most towering weeks are around Mother's Day. Now let's look at the same chart but isolating just Tropicals.

In this view of only Tropicals, we still see those towering weeks around Mother's Day and the steady build-up in the prior and post weeks, but the interesting observation is the rest of the pattern overall.

To me, this presents the question...Is there A Season for Tropicals? Certainly the increase in traffic and transaction counts in the peak weeks of spring drives more sales of Tropicals, but, aside from that, there seems to be a more steady demand for Tropicals the balance of the year.

We know an early indicator of the impressive growth our Centers have experienced since 2019 was visible in the popularity (and sales) many new young customers were showing in Tropical Plants. This was happening prior to 2020. Since then, sales in Tropicals have grown in similar patterns to overall sales, continuing to gain ground.

Some Group Centers are reporting softening in the highly-unusual Tropicals, but as a category, it is holding its own overall.

I hope this observation can help encourage you to be with us at TPIE 2024 in January. If Tropicals is an important category for your Center, you need to be there. Details and link are below. Be sure to sign up to participate in our Cool Product Awards search. You will receive a free show badge as a judge, you'll see many of our Group Centers and meet other new center, plus you'll have a front-row seat in finding the very best new Tropical Plants available for 2024 and beyond!

So what do you think the answer is to the question... Is there A Season for Tropicals?

Your answer may be based upon the level of focus you are giving to this important category.

I hope to see you at TPIE 2024!


Sharing is at the heart of The Group and your ideas are very important. If you have any trouble logging into The Group WebSystem, please let me know. Are you and your staff all subscribed to our eLists such as GroupEs, Retail-Grower, Retail-Landscape, Owners-Only, and a number of others? Need help subscribing? Let me know so I can show you how you can sign up.

Thanks for sharing!

Danny Summers
[email protected]
Tel: 678-909-7770
Cell: 678-761-7145

REMEMBER: Your interaction (by phone and email) with Group Service Providers such as Tim Quebedeaux, Sid Raisch, John Kennedy, Jean Seawright, and of course Danny Summers are included in your retainer!

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