2008 Garden Centre Canada Survey Results
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The 2008 Garden Centres Canada survey results are in.  Thanks to the Garden Centres Canada Committee, who championed the initiative, we had a 10% response rate for our GCC survey and we are happy to report on emerging new retail trends and overall GCC members’ performance.  

The data compiled indicates emerging industry trends including the fact that more than 85% of businesses are open for six months or more per year.  

A growing trend is increased volumes of sales in the smaller operators’ businesses.  In addition, to enforce a more positive outlook for the 2009 season, the survey results show that the average dollar sale per customer has increased on average from $77.74 (in 2007) to $98.76 (in 2008), suggesting that customers have the money to spend on garden centres’ offerings.

Another increasing trend seen in garden centres is that our members are investing in customer service: 97% of respondents offer ‘a money back guarantee’ on green goods (as compared to 63% last year).  There has been a substantial increase in staff employment rates, going up from an average of 40 staff in 2007 to about 65 employees in 2008.  In addition, there has been an increase in CHT Retail staff employment (83% in 2008, as

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compared to 55% in 2007).

Another indication of garden centres coping well is the fairly homogenous set of results which examine price increases at their centres – members indicated that they plan to increase pricing across all product categories for 2009 between 5% - 10% on average.

Some of the most successful marketing initiatives for member garden centres over the last season include holding contests, giving out coupons, holding gardening events/workshops, as well as offering weekly sales promotions through their monthly newsletter.  

The greatest challenge for the 2009 year that was shared by the
majority of our members is the uncertainty of the economic
situation and attracting customers, as well as controlling costs and
keeping customers satisfied while increasing prices.  

All survey participants were entered into a draw to win a copy of
the CHT Retail Study Guide.  Congratulations to our winner,
Dykhof Nurseries Ltd. in North Vancouver, BC.  

The Garden Centres Canada committee of CNLA thanks everyone
who took the time to complete the 2008 survey.

Anthony O’Neill
Garden Centres Canada Chair, CNLA
O’Neill’s Gardenland

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