2007 Garden Centre Canada Survey Results
Text size:

GARDEN CENTRES CANADA - SURVEY 2007

Results

Respondents: 46 out of 450 members responded to the survey -10%.  Comments fields are added when trends or patterns were observed.

1.  Province of operation?    

  • BC – 9%
  • AB - 24%
  • SK - 7%
  • MB – 7%
  • ON – 41%
  • QC – 2%
  • NB – 4%
  • NS – 2%
  • NL – 4%
  • PEI – 0%

Comments: Generally conforms to the demographics of CNLA membership.  Note that QC garden centres are not currently part of the CNLA federation of provincial associations and there were no responses from PEI due to the fact they do not have a provincial association representation and fall under the Atlantic Provinces.

2.   What is the approximate population of your trading area?

  • 35% Under 50,000    
  • 11% 50,001 - 100,000    
  • 15% 100,001 - 250,000    
  • 9% 250,001 - 500,000    
  • 30% over 500,000
  • Comments: 61% of respondents are from markets with populations of less then 250,000, as compared to 81% in 2006.

3.   Number of months open for retail business through a calendar year?  

  • 13% 6 months or less    
  • 33% 6-8 months    
  • 9% 9 months    
  • 15% 10 months     
  • 2% 11 months    
  • 28% 12 months

Comments: 72% of garden centres that responded are still seasonally based, with 87% open more then six months per year.

4.   Is your business:    

  • 15% - Retail only 
  • 41% - Retail & Nursery
  • 20% - Retail & Landscape
  • 24% - Retail & Nursery & Landscape

Comments: 85% of respondents have a diversified business with 44% having some form of a landscape division.  Compared to previous years there has been a decline in retail only respondents, which could be signalling a trend towards diversification.

5.   In your business do you wholesale?

  • 48% To Independent Retailers
  • 85% To Landscapers
  • 24% To Box Stores

6.   What were your total retail sales for 2007?    

  • 13% - Under $250,000
  • 24% - $250,000 - $500,000
  • 20% - $500,001 - $1,000,000
  • 24% - $1,000,001 - $2,000,000
  • 9% - $2,000,001 - $5,000,000
  • 9% - over $5,000,000

Comments: 57% of respondents have sales under $1 million per year, in comparison to 73% in the previous year, which demonstrates the strength and growth of the businesses in our industry.  Compared to previous years the figures in the $2,000,001-$5,000,00 and over $5,000,000 categories have both tripled (from 3% in 2006 to 9% in 2007).

7.   What percentage of your total sales are represented from the following:

  • 28% Wholesale to other Retailers
  • 17% Wholesale to Landscapers
  • 73% Retail
  • 15% In house Landscape Installations
  • 55% Other

Comments: ‘Other’ included sales through a landscape company, and sales on the Internet.

8.   Your percentage of sales from:

  • 24% Annuals
  • 21% Perennials
  • 2% Houseplants
  • 23% Hardy Ornamentals
  • 1% Furniture
  • 3% Hardware
  • 5% Services
  • 4% Bagged soil amendments
  • 2% Christmas
  • 4% Gifts and Home Decor 
  • 2% Fertilizers
  • 2% Other    

Comments: 70% of sales are plant material, compared to 56% in 2006.  Respondents in the ‘Other’ category reported water gardening, hard goods and lawn ornaments, cut flowers, plugs, seed, sod, bulk soils, and gift certificates as growth areas for sales.  In comparison the ‘Services’ category went down from 8% to only 5% from the previous year.
 
9.  Your gross margin in 2007 was:

  • 35%.
  • 54% went up from '06 by an average of 6%, while 17% went down from '06 by an average of 2%.

10.  Your bottom line in 2007 was:         

  • up? 10% (61% response) 
  • down?  13% (11% response)
  • unchanged?  28%.

11.  Your customer count for 2007 was:    

  • up? 11% (56% response) 
  • down?  13% (15% response)    
  • unchanged?  15%

12. What was your average dollar sale per customer for 2007?       

  •  $77.74

Comments: Compared to previous years this figure is a little lower, with the 2006 figures showed $84.92 in comparison.

13. Approximate Credit Card sales as percentage of total sales:

  • 45%

Comments: This ratio of sales has remained steady over several years, up slightly from 2006 (43.6%).

14. Approximate Interact/Debit sales as percentage of total sales:

  • 33.26%

Comments: This ratio of sales has remained steady over several years, up slightly from 2006 (30%).

15.  How much do you pay for each interact/debit transaction?

  • 9.53 cents

Comments: This rate has been decreasing each year by between 0.5 cents and 1.0 cent.  There is obviously a basement level debit transaction fees can reach, but we haven’t reached that level since the lowest per transaction fee this year was listed at 5.0 cents.
    
16.  What % do you pay for (Merchant Discount Rate)?

  • 1.73% Visa
  • 1.76% MasterCard
  • 3.4% American Express

Comments: The rate for VISA and MC has declined continuously over previous years, which reflects the industry trends.  Rates for AMEX appear to be stabilizing among a very limited number of respondents that indicated they accept this credit card.

17. Who is your current merchant processing supplier?    

  • Paymentech: 24%
  • Moneris: 43%

Comments: The remaining 33% of respondents’ answers comprised of Global Payment and First Data as processing suppliers.  

18. Do you offer a Gift Certificate program: 

  • 100% Yes

Do you offer a Gift Card program?

  • 2% Yes
  • 76% No    (The remaining percentage of the respondents did not answer that question)

if yes, what is the average value of each Gift Certificate or Gift Card sold?

  • $ 53.37

If yes, what is the average sale of customers who are using a Gift Certificate or Gift Card?    

  • $ 86.95

19. If you answered ‘no’ to question 18, do you have an interest in offering a Gift Card Program?

  • 52% Yes
  • 48% No

20. Will you change the prices of any of the following for coming year (as a percentage, i.e. 10% to annuals, -5% for hardware, etc.)?

  • 1.3% Annuals
  • 8.2% Perennials
  • 5.0% Houseplants
  • 6.2% Hardy Ornamentals
  • 6.6% Furniture
  • 4.8% Hardware
  • 8.2% Services
  • 5.4% Bagged soil amendments
  • 0.4% Christmas
  • 4.8% Gifts and Home Decor 
  • 4.2% Fertilizers
  • Other 3.5%

Comments: A fairly homogenous set of results with a range between 5%-8% average increase in price across all product categories.

21. Do you sell cut flowers?

  • 20% Yes
  • 80% No

If so, what % of your total sales is this department?

  • 2.6%

If not, are you considering such an expansion?            

  • 11% Yes    
  • 89% No

Comments: The average number of respondents that sell cut flowers remains relatively unchanged.  The percentage of sales continues to decrease.

22. Do you have a pet department (selling pets or pet products)?    

  • 96% No        
  • 4% Yes

If so, what % of your total sales is this department?

  • 1%

If not, are you considering such an expansion?  

  • 2% Yes
  • 98% No

23. Do you have a food kiosk, restaurant or cafe in your garden centre?

  • 9% Yes
  • 91% No

If so, what % of your total sales is this department?

  • 5.5%

If not, are you considering such an expansion? 

  • 33% Yes
  • 67% No

Comments: The average number of respondents that offer food and beverage remains relatively unchanged.

24.  Do you offer:        

landscape design services?

  • 59% Yes
  • 41% No

landscape installation services?

  • 43% Yes
  • 57%

planting services?

  • 57% Yes
  • 43% No

Comments: There appears to be a trend of moving away from offering various services as compared to the previous year. This also confirms/explains the decline in ‘services’ experienced as a percentage of sales in Question 8.
    
25.  Do you offer a money back guarantee on green goods?   

  • 63% Yes
  • 37% No

Is it unconditional?

  • 38% Yes
  • 62% No

Comments: The percentage of respondents that offer a money back guarantee has decreased steadily from a high of 95% two years ago. 
 
26.  What would your guarantee be on the following products (i.e. 6 months, one year)?

  • 0-6 months - Annuals
  • 0-12months - Perennials
  • 0-12months - Roses
  • 0-1 month - Houseplants
  • 0-12months - Fertilizers
  • 0-12months - Furniture
  • 0-12months - Hardware
  • 0-1 month - Christmas
  • 0-12months - Hardy Ornamentals
  • 0-6 months - Gifts and Home Décor
  • 0-6 months - Bagged soil
  • 0-12months - Wholesale to Landscapers
  • 0-6 months - Wholesale to Retailers

27. Do you operate a website?

  • 67% have a website

If yes, does it offer e-commerce service (online shopping)?

  • 16% of respondents with a website offer e-commerce.

If no, do you have an interest in operating a website?

  • 35% Yes
  • 65% No

28.  What % of plant sales are replacements?

  • 2%

What % of plant sales is your scrap of plants caused by your own staff?

  • 2.1%            

Comments: The percentage of plants sales that are replacements and scrap of plants caused by own staff is very similar and it can help to determine what the percentage of replacements will be for a year.

29.  What was your labour expense as a % of total retail sales for 2007?    

  • 21.7%

Comments: This figure appears to be relatively stable, fluctuation is plus/minus 2.5% and thus within the standard margin of error.
        
30.  Are your labour expenses going: 

  • up? 9% (76% response)
  • down?  3% (13% response)
  • unchanged?  11% response

31.  Number of retail employees: 

  • Permanent full-time: 11
  • Permanent part-time: 5
  • Seasonal full-time: 15
  • Seasonal part-time: 9

32.  Employee wages: (if salary take total and divide by 2,000 hours to get an average) – All data is average, not all respondents listed wage info for every position listed below.

  • Delivery Driver: $13.80/hr.
  • Forklift Operator: $15.00 /hr.
  • Shipper/Receiver: $11.34 /hr.     
  • Greenhouse Worker: $11.89 /hr.
  • Nursery Worker: $11.00 /hr.
  • Sales Associate w/ no experience: $9.53 /hr.
  • Sales Associate w/  experience: $11.65 /hr.
  • CHT - Retail: $13.00 /hr.  
  • P-T Seasonal w/ no experience: $9.10 /hr. 
  • P-T Seasonal w/ experience: $11.00 /hr.
  • Cashiers: $8.25 /hr.
  • Landscape Designers: $21.20 /hr.
  • Bookkeeper: $18.55 /hr.
  • Reception: $11.47 /hr.
  • Office Manager: $21.00 /hr.
  • Information Officer: $11.67 /hr.
  • Owner/Operator - without dividends: $22.97 /hr.  or  $59,000 / year

33.  Number of Certified Staff (CHT, CLD, CLP, CIT, etc.)?

  • 3.4 Certified individuals on staff

Which of those have a CHT - Retail designation?

  • 55% of those with certified staff employ CHT-Retail

Comments: The number of certified staff employed at garden centres have almost doubled from last year (1.5 in 2006).

34.  Do you have landscapers as customers?

  • 87% Yes

If yes, what discount do you give them?

  • 20% green goods
  • 13% in-store good

35.  What were your advertising expenses as a percentage of total sales? 

  • 4.13%

Comments: The advertising expense as a percentage of sales remains relatively unchanged over the last three years.

36.  What advertising media do you use?

  • Radio:  48%
  • Television:  20%
  • Newspaper:  80%
  • Direct Mail:  35%
  • Other:  26% (internet, billboards, lawn signage and magazine were most common)

Comments: The use of direct mail has decreased significantly to previous years.  However, Newspaper advertising and television have risen dramatically over previous years.  This can be explained as either a shift in patterns of advertising or regular movement within the various mediums as companies explore marketing mixes.

37.  Would you be interested in participating in a National and/or International Garden Centres competition?

  • 29% Yes
  • 71% No

38.  Would you support a national campaign of charging your customers a nominal fee for the usage of plastics bags?  The funds collected would then be donated to a green industry organization and used to promote the benefits of green spaces.  

  • 33% Yes
  • 67% No

39.  Would you be interested in participating in a National Bulk Bag purchasing program where your company could purchase reusable bags at a lower rate to offer to your customers?

  • 38% Yes
  • 62% No

40.  Would you be willing to give a monetary discount to customers wanting to install plant material to offset their carbon footprint?    

  • 22% Yes
  • 78% No

41.  Would you be interested in attending a Garden Centre Congress? 

  • 43% Yes: Eastern Canada
  • 33% Yes: Western Canada
  • 24% No            

If yes, how many staff would you send?  2 people

40.  Please suggest a National Program that could be offered by the CNLA for Garden Centre members across Canada (i.e. marketing materials).

Comments: Most suggestions ranged from getting members educated about employee programs i.e. insurance policy, labour codes and WHIMS compliance, as well as implementing a national program for recycling of pots and trays.

PrintPrintFeedbackFeedback  |   Bookmark and Share
Related Downloadable Files
Adobe Acrobat 2007 Garden Centre Canada Survey Results
[161,823 bytes]
Get the Acrobat Reader to view this file.
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for our Email Newsletter
Privacy by SafeSubscribe
For Email Marketing you can trust
Programs & Initiatives

Membership Directory

F
ind CNLA members

Complete the Wage Survey

Deadline to contribute to Labour Market Information for the landscape industry is November 21!

Landscape Industry Certified


Learn more about becoming a Landscape Industry Certified professional. Find test dates, study materials, and more. Follow us on Twitter!

Industry Job Board

Whether you are looking for employment or looking for employees, this is the place for you! 

National Awards of Landscape Excellence

Recognizing Canadian companies that raise the level of professionalism in the landscape industry.


Garden Days

Canada’s coast to coast, three-day celebration of National Garden Day which is held annually on the Friday before Father’s Day.


National Tree Day


Help us celebrate Canada's greatest natural resource on Wednesday, September 24, 2014

National Plastic Recycling Event

Member garden centres act as drop-off points for used garden pots and plastics. Register your garden centre for the 2014 event (June 20 - July 1). 


Canadian Standards for Nursery Stock

Minimum standards for the nursery industry, for use by students, educators and professionals.


Canadian Nursery Certification Institute

An independent industry body with a mandate to administer nursery certification programs in Canada.

 


CNLA on FacebookCNLA on TwitterCNLA on LinkedIn