The BIG Squeeze of 2022

The BIG Squeeze of 2022

by Danny Summers

If you were with us last Thursday for our March edition of the GROUPtalk LIVE Series, you experienced Tim Quebedeaux revealing the results from The Group's 2022 Annual P&L Study. We had a large crowd assembled for the presentation and Group Centers can see the details in the recording, now available on the 2023 GROUPtalk LIVE Series Resource page from their landing page following login.

As Tim presented each area of this year's study, I was amazed. We knew from the Weekly Department Review (WDR) that sales were down in 2022 compared to the previous year. The BIG question in most of our minds was... how much would this affect profit?

The idea for this message, The BIG Squeeze of 2022 came to me while I was thinking about 2022 across all of the weeks we saw in the WDR. Over 20+ years of comparing and sharing sales data, The Group has developed the idea that most Garden Centers produce up to 80% of their annual sales in about a 12-week period. In a typical year, that 12 week period looks similar to the image here.

Obviously, the start and end of the 12-week peak season varies dependent on location but its normal span is about 12 weeks.

Coming on the heels of the roller coaster ride (upwards) of the 2020 year, where total Group Revenues were +25% and then 2021 was reported at +14%, we expected 2022 to be down. We watched the early weeks of 2022 and that 12-week period having a sluggish start with winter hanging on and spring arriving late. And overall, summer weather arrived early in some areas. In my mind, this is The BIG Squeeze of 2022, depicted in the image below.

The surprising data from The 2022 Annual P&L Study is while total Group Total Sales were reported at -7% for the year, down from the nearly+39% of 2020 and 2021, the total Group's Profit average still came in at the Best Practice level...Amazing!

I don't want to take away from what you will see soon in several blog messages from Tim covering much more from this 19th Annual Edition of the P&L Study. We all want to thank the record number of Centers reporting in the study this year to provide all this invaluable information!

But I have borrowed from the 2022 P&L Study just enough to help set the stage for what I have been watching each week this year in the WDR Online. As I write this, we have just received the Week 9, February 27th-March 5 WDR Report. With much of the Northern and Western regions experiencing winter, the total Group is reporting a +6.4% increase year-to-date. And if we narrow our view down to the South, Southeast, and Mid-Atlantic regions we see a very exciting picture and that's increased Transaction Counts.

Keep in mind most of last year's sales resulted from an increase in Average Sale and a decrease in Transaction Counts. Currently, in Week 9, these four regions are reporting the following for the Year-to-Date "Big 3":

I know I'm looking for any indications of how the spring season will be for all regions, but one of the best indicators we have is watching regions that are already seeing spring sales. Normally we would be including the Southwest and maybe even the Northwest also to this group but they both have been under unusually extended winter storms.

If this pattern we see in the four regions above where Transaction Counts continue to show possible double-digit increases this spring across most regions, then 2023 will be a big year overall.

I know it's early and a lot can change and we have a number of questions...
    •    What are most consumers thinking?
    •    Did most of them get the post-lockdown travel plans out of the way last year?
    •    Will they stay home more this year?
    •    Will they be drawn to the garden again?

Maybe The BIG Squeeze of 2023 will be trying to serve so many guests, squeezing in all the great plants and products into your Centers to meet the need and wants into every day of Spring 2023!

Watch for more details on The 2022 Annual P&L Study Results in upcoming blog messaging from Tim Quebedeaux and also spotlighting some of the Centers in the South and what they are seeing in their business so far... coming in the April GROUPtalk LIVE Series Session!

Here's to a Successful BIG Squeeze and Successful Spring 2023!

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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