A question for the wholesale growers who sell to The Depot, and other chains. Why not offer the pay at scan deal to the independents? In case you don't know, wholesale growers who sell to the box stores are not paid until the plants they supply are sold at retail. If the plants don't sell they have to pick them up, and are not paid. It seems to me that most independents would take better care of the plants so there would be less pickups. You might think that once independents got a hold of this deal, they would allow the plants to go downhill and then just return them, like The Boxes. I doubt it though, since the condition of the plants is a big selling feature for the independents.
We have been told in the past to look to the boxes and other large chains like Target, to see how they operate. We are told that there are ideas we as independents can use. Well, how about pay at scan for independents? Don't tell me that only the Big Boys can produce the volume to make this work. Apparently they can't.
As we end the year who knows what 2009 has in store? It will be a year of great change in the nursery business. I have a feeling we are going to see more large companies hitting the skids. There is just not enough volume to support all the wholesale operations. The ones that remain will need to figure out what "nursery industry" they want to service. I feel that the industry will continue to fragment. You cannot service the box stores and chains while still giving the service that independents require. You'll have to pick. If I we're a grower I would find out how to service the independents and stick with them. Sure it means your company will be smaller, but it will be more nimble, and less effected by one or two large businesses.
I think 2009 will be a very, very, interesting year when it comes to the nursery industry. Maybe the most interesting any of us in the trade have seen for quite a while.
Happy New Year!