Monrovia branded plants to be sold in Lowe's stores

According to Today's Garden Center Magazine, "Monrovia will begin selling its branded plants in Lowe’s stores in 2013. As a result of an exclusive agreement with Lowe’s, Monrovia plants, currently sold in Home Depot in plain pots, will pull out of Home Depot." In the article David Kirby, the new vice-president of sales say's , "that Lowe’s agreeing to maintain the premium brand image, partly through pricing, was key to Monrovia making the agreement. Until 2010, Monrovia had sold exclusively to independent garden centers." Not sure what "premium brand" image they are talking about? It's the one independent garden centers worked many years to help Monrovia build. Oh well...

We have covered Monrovia at this blog over the years, and there is a lot of background info here. I always thought they would end up at the box stores even after they asked their independent customers to buy more, or else. I even met with Monrovia executives in 2011 who told me they would never let their branded plants go to the boxes.

They might do o.k with the Lowe's deal. Really, what other choice do they have? Many independents have stopped buying from them as they have begun their move into the box stores. In addition, many of Monrovia's independent customers have closed, or gone out of business. The only place that offers any growth for them in the short term is the box stores and chains. Even there, it's likely to be muted as the consolidation of the horticultural businesses continues and economics work against some of the larger wholesale operations, like Monrovia.