Statuary & Garden Art Returns!

Statuary & Garden Art Returns!

It’s no secret that fountains, statuary and garden art have been a challenge for retailers over the past couple of years.

Last year saw a slight uptick for some retailers, but by and large sales are still flat to down, due in part to the economy and lack of consumer spending.

Still, there are a few positives coming out of this category, particularly in niche areas where retailers have gotten creative and taken advantage of some consumer trends.

One trend in particular is the fairy garden craze, which seems to be sweeping the nation at a rapid rate. Many garden centers last year recognized the opportunity and brought in more whimsical pieces to satiate the demand for fairies, gnomes and other woodland creatures. For more on fairy gardens, see the Steal This Idea Gallery on Tonkadale Greenhouse.

Chris Quance from Ferguson’s Garden Center in Spirit Lake, Iowa, noted smaller to mid-sized statuary worked best for them with mid-range pricepoints. Animals like bunnies, turtles and dragons sold best, as well as the fairies.

Coupling the animals and fairies with smaller fountains and other products retailing between $39 and $299, Ferguson’s was able to increase this category by more than 10 percent in 2010, and hopes to continue the trend this year. So what’s on tap for this year?

“More of the same; good pricepoints and excellent displays,” Quance says. “We have a large group of fountainettes from Massarelli’s that will retail at $199.”

What’s New

The mid-range is ultra popular this year, with many of the major fountain and statuary companies offering significantly more here for retailers to capitalize upon. Massarelli’s, Henri Studio, Campania International and others have supplemented their offerings with mid-sized fountains, some accented with LED lighting.

Henri Studio also plans to enhance its offerings with QR codes on its consumer tags to allow your customers to snap the tag with their smart phone and see a YouTube video of the fountain running.

Campania International has added tabletop fountains – another mid-range pricepoint for retailers – to its extensive fountain offerings in the Garden Terrace Collection.

However, retailers shouldn’t solely focus on smaller to mid-sized products, because some of the larger fountains may be coming back into style.

“Fountain sales have been very strong; it’s been a very good year for us on the cast stone side,” says Peter Cilio, creative director at Campania.

Getting Creative With Fountains

Willow Ridge Garden Center in Oak Ridge, Tenn., has taken the art of fountains to a new level by creating their own products. Water gardening and bubbling fountains are an important part of Willow Ridge’s business, and owner Tom Lakers found customers were interested in smaller bubbling fountains.

They made them by drilling holes in boulders and hooking up pumps to recirculate water through pots or other types of garden art for a unique product and fresh look.

They sell the finished product, as well as the components for do-it-yourself assembly.

Clean, Running & Clearing Out

A couple of key points on fountains and statuary are to keep it clean – both the area surrounding the displays and the products themselves – and to display fountains while they are running. Show customers how they might look in their landscapes, and appeal to their sense of sound with gently bubbling water. If you deliver, make it clear wherever you display larger items so customers are aware.

Quance also offers this bit of advice for large products: “Get rid of old inventory! Those big clunkers that have been in one spot for five years, get rid of them,” he says. “It doesn’t matter how many man hours are in them, discount them deep and move them. If you still have them on the books their value should be zero anyway. I feel strongly on this.”

The products from Henri Studio, Massarelli’s and the cast stone line from Campania International are all made in the United States, too, which can be a selling point for retailers looking to add value and differentiate their lines from those found at box stores, particularly on larger, more valuable items.
Display it proudly, along with the fact that these companies support the independent retail industry. That is still worth something these days.

Topics:

Leave a Reply

More From Departments...
Steve Bailey

July 30, 2015

How To Determine A Gross Margin Percentage Goal At Your Store [Talkin’ Finance With Steve Bailey]

One retailer asked this question: Is there a gross margin percentage that is considered a good goal for garden centers and their various product lines? Check out financial consultant Steve Bailey's advice.

Read More
Chuck Hoover, Tagawa Gardens

July 29, 2015

Give Your Young Employees A Personal Stake In Your Company [Solve My Problem]

One retailer asked the following question: What are the best techniques for recruiting new staff members to replace those who are due to retire in the next couple years?

Read More
Petunia ‘Trilogy Red’ (American Takii)

July 29, 2015

Catch Your Customers’ Eyes With These Sun-Loving Annuals [Slideshow]

Now is the time to start planning for which annuals will be on display at your garden center in 2016. Check out this slideshow of breeders’ picks for their favorite new sun-loving annuals for the garden retail market in the coming year.

Read More
Latest Stories
Steve Bailey

July 30, 2015

How To Determine A Gross Margin Percentage Goal At Your…

One retailer asked this question: Is there a gross margin percentage that is considered a good goal for garden centers and their various product lines? Check out financial consultant Steve Bailey's advice.

Read More
Chuck Hoover, Tagawa Gardens

July 29, 2015

Give Your Young Employees A Personal Stake In Your Comp…

One retailer asked the following question: What are the best techniques for recruiting new staff members to replace those who are due to retire in the next couple years?

Read More
Petunia ‘Trilogy Red’ (American Takii)

July 29, 2015

Catch Your Customers’ Eyes With These Sun-Loving …

Now is the time to start planning for which annuals will be on display at your garden center in 2016. Check out this slideshow of breeders’ picks for their favorite new sun-loving annuals for the garden retail market in the coming year.

Read More

July 29, 2015

Digital Technology Helps Crack The Millennial Code [Sta…

With a well-trained and knowledgeable staff, Kurt Fromherz says you can forge a deeper connection with your customers and with your community.

Read More
Bauman Farms

July 28, 2015

Local Garden Centers To Visit During Farwest 2015

While you’re in Portland for the Farwest show, set aside some time to pay a visit to these local independent garden centers and check out some of the innovative things they’re doing.

Read More
Farwest Seminars

July 28, 2015

What’s New And What To Do At Farwest 2015

Are you planning to attend the 2015 Farwest show? Here's a list of things to do, including new activities, at the event, which take place Aug. 27-29 in Portland, Ore.

Read More
Bob Peters featured image

July 28, 2015

J.R. Peters’ Founder Dies At 97

Robert "Bob" Peters founded the garden fertilizer company that became JR Peters and has been an active supporter of the greenhouse and garden center industries since World War II.

Read More
IGC Show App

July 27, 2015

Want A Guide To This Year’s IGC Shows? There̵…

IGC Show organizers have launched new free apps for IGC East and IGC Chicago, available for download in the Apple App Store and on Google Play, that offer information on conference sessions and special events.

Read More
Impatiens Lollipop Series (Ernst Benary Of America)

July 27, 2015

18 New Annuals That Are Great For Either Sun Or Shade […

Now is the time to start planning for which annuals will be on display at your garden center in 2016. Check out this slideshow of breeders’ picks for their favorite new sun and shade varieties for the garden retail market in the coming year.  

Read More
Ingenico EMV

July 27, 2015

Why PCI And EMV Compliance May Not Be Enough For Retail…

A report from the National Retail Federation indicates that while companies are becoming more compliant with PCI standards, it may not be enough to protect them from fraud. Note: Thanks for Epicor for sponsoring this EMV story.

Read More
Ian Baldwin

July 27, 2015

Ian Baldwin: Validating Customer Complaints Can Pay Div…

In his latest blog posting, Ian Baldwin says when you deal with customer concerns in an empathetic fashion, you’re more likely to earn repeat business and future sales.

Read More
Farwest Nursery Tour

July 24, 2015

Farwest 2015 Show Promises To Be Far From Ordinary

Farwest, which takes place Aug. 27-29 in Portland, Ore., is the show to discover new nursery and retail-focused products, equipment and services, find new, popular plant varieties, and network with thousands of top industry professionals.

Read More

July 23, 2015

Lakeview Nurseries’ Michelle Harvey Appointed To Massac…

Following a passion for government policy, Harvey says she’s excited to be able to educate elected officials about issues important to the horticulture industry.

Read More

July 22, 2015

Economic Growth Will Fuel Garden Demand [2015 State Of …

As the housing industry continues to rebound and the economy improves, economist Charlie Hall says consumers will unleash pent-up demand, which means good news for garden retailers.

Read More

July 22, 2015

Local Garden Centers To Visit During The Nursery/Landsc…

While you’re in Dallas for the Nursery/Landscape EXPO, set aside some time to pay a visit to these local independent garden centers and check out some of the innovative things they’re doing.

Read More
Texas NLA Trade Show Floor

July 21, 2015

What To Do And What’s New At the Nursery/Landscap…

Are you planning to attend the 2015 Nursery/Landscape EXPO? If so, here’s a list of things to do, including new activities, at the event, which take place Aug. 13-15 in Dallas.

Read More
Texas NLA Opening Ceremony

July 21, 2015

Nursery/Landscape EXPO: Where Business Begins With A Ha…

The Nursery/Landscape EXPO offers independent garden centers the chance to diversify their product lines with the latest varieties in greenscapes and hardscapes.

Read More
Calibrachoa ‘Superbells Holy Moly!’ From Proven Winners

July 21, 2015

Garden Center Retailers Highlight Their Favorite New Pr…

Coordinated by The Garden Center Group, the Retailers Choice Awards’ are selected by a team of retailers, along with Sid Raisch and Danny Summers, walking the trade show flow in search of stand-out plants and hard goods.

Read More