Companies in this industry sell garden products such as trees, plants, seeds, bulbs, and sod; some also offer farm supplies, including animal feed. Major companies include Adams Fairacre Farms, Armstrong Garden Centers, Calloway's Nursery, Meadows Farms, and Tractor Supply Company (all based in the US), as well as Dobbies and Wyevale Garden Centres (the UK).
Demand for gardening products is greatest in developed countries such as the US, Japan, and countries in Western Europe. But interest is increasing in emerging markets in Asia and Eastern Europe that have rising numbers of middle-class consumers.
The US garden center and farm supply store industry includes about 14,000 stores with combined annual revenue of about $35 billion.
Consumer income, home sales, and leisure activity trends drive demand in garden centers; the general health of the farming sector, which is tied to crop and livestock prices, weather, and consumer consumption patterns, drives demand in farm supply stores. The profitability of individual companies depends on effective merchandising and marketing, competitive pricing, and the ability to secure convenient locations. Large companies have advantages in purchasing, distribution, finance, and marketing and can better serve large customers. Small companies can compete effectively by offering specialty products, providing superior customer service, or serving a local market. The US industry is fragmented: the 50 largest companies generate about 35% of revenue.
Competition includes home centers, hardware stores, mass merchandisers, and internet and catalog retailers. Farm supply stores also...