Trends report shows a 40% drop in garden spending for 2013.


Folks enjoying #6 of the trends report.

Here is the first “trends list” for 2014 that I have seen. It’s put out by The Garden Media Group and is published in Garden Center Magazine under the heading, “Buying Power Shifts To Millennials And Female Home Owners”.  The trends listed are:

  1. Women’s financial power at unprecedented levels.
  2. Millennials are a buying force.
  3. Seeking happiness in a wired world.
  4. Sustainability trend continues to deepen.
  5. Garden buying in flux.
  6. Alcohol and garden a happy mix.

The interesting part for the garden center world comes under 5, and Garden Buying in Flux. I am not surprised, but still the amount is staggering. Listing how Americans spend their money , number 1 is shopping for Christmas accounting for $586 billion. It’s followed by weight loss methods at $61 billion, and gardening at $58 billion.

Unfortunately the trends report had the lowest response in years for gardening. “2013 average spending is projected at $278 — 40 percent below 2012 at $470″. That’s a huge drop! While the Millennials may have entered the home owner stage there are simply fewer of them than there we’re “Baby Boomers”. In addition, the Millennials are broke and don’t have a lot of excess cash for things like gardening. That’s not going to change for awhile.


About Trey Pitsenberger

Trey is a nurseryman, author, and speaker.

27. August 2013 by Trey Pitsenberger
Categories: | 3 comments

Comments (3)

  1. Spot on and this should surprise no one in the industry.
    Fact is this does not account for the total drop and that dramatic a drop for 1 year does make a trend.
    Fact is our industry better start to figure out how to get the next generation to partisapate.

  2. Trey, this report both validates (younger money coming in the Garden business) and conflicts with (female shoppers buying most stuff) with National Gardening Survey (NGS) with which I am much more familiar, so it would be nice to know this survey’s methodology and data sampling.

    The NGS reports by household not individual consumer and only tracks DIY not all garden spending which would include design-build and other DIFM. Also NGS data includes bigger tickets like power equipment which tilts the balance strongly towards male consumer spend. Also for the first time this year, the NGS showed that males under 35 were the top garden spenders, not the previous champs, males over 55. Females of any age haven’t topped male spending since I have been analyzing the NGS. The NGS shows a 2% rise in DIY garden spend in 2012 over 2011 but still over 20% less than 2007 and puts the DIY total at $29.4 billion not $58 billion. Maybe the DIFM is the difference there; also NGS does not track Christmas, patio, cut floral and what we would call gift or accents.
    Thanks for sharing this though, may be we can take the best from both reports!

  3. Trey, the garden center which I am affiliated with has had double digit growth for the last 3 seasons. We are located in an upscale(wine country) community and benefit from the winery/estate landscaper business. We are also one of 2 businesses in our immediate area that cater to the ‘serious’ gardener. The keys are customer service,bilingualism, quality and variety of plants,both national and regional brands (don’t be afraid to loose your ass on Turf Builder , and make it up on Greenall-and make sure the employees know to recommend the Greenall) and reading the radar of the customer base. This has led to chicken food and supplies, piles of galvanized stock tanks , 20ft of bird food and feeders, and lots of hats.