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Michael K. Wohlgenant, Charles D. Safley and Anthony N. Rezitis

Data from a survey of North Carolina independent garden center customers in Fall 1996 were used to determine the price responsiveness of mums and pansies. A survey was conducted of four garden centers in the Raleigh, N.C., area and four garden centers operating in the Triad marketing area (Greensboro, Winston-Salem, and High Point, N.C.). Information collected on 1608 consumers included various socioeconomic and demographic variables (age, value of residence, type of residence, number of years in the residence, housing tenure, and employment status) as well as plant purchase information (plant price, plant types, and plant sizes). Price responsiveness of consumers was estimated by analyzing how customers' responses change as prices varied from one store to another and from one location to another. Measures of price responsiveness indicated statistically significant price elasticities of demand of -0.76 for mums and -0.80 for pansies. These elasticities can be used to indicate how industry sales would respond to a change to the industry that affects all firms in the same way—such as the response to an increase in energy costs. The paper shows how to use the elasticities to develop particular pricing strategies under different circumstances facing firms in the industry.

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Julie H. Campbell and Benjamin L. Campbell

to shop at direct-to-consumer floral retail outlets. In a study by Satterthwaite et al. (2006) , convenience was the primary reason for shopping at independent garden centers (IGCs), followed by service, quality, and price. The primary reasons for

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Mark H. Brand and Robert L. Leonard

Survey data from 788 single-family residences from New England were analyzed to evaluate purchasing preferences and gardening habits. Particular attention was focused on plant attributes and choices of independent garden centers vs. mass merchandisers. Independent garden centers, magazines, and friends were the most important sources of gardening information, while mass merchandisers were relatively unimportant information sources. While consumers trusted information received at independent garden centers, they did not trust mass merchandiser information as much. The most important product and service attributes of retail establishments were well-maintained plants, informative signage, knowledgeable staff, and a wide selection of plant material. Gardening chemicals and fertilizers were purchased at mass merchandisers due to price. Consumers preferred to purchase high-value, long-lived plants (trees and shrubs) at independent garden centers due to higher plant quality and access to knowledgeable staff. When making plant purchases, plant appearance was the most important consideration regardless of whether the plant was an annual, perennial, or woody plant. The presence of flowers on plants was not ranked as influential in making purchase selections, but evidence of new growth, the presence of dark green foliage, and knowledge of a northern-grown source were important. For trees and shrubs, the significance of a plant guarantee and knowledge of a northern-grown source increased in importance in comparison to annuals and perennials.

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Charles R. Hall

The green industry complex includes input suppliers (manufacturers and distributors); production firms such as nursery, greenhouse, and sod growers; wholesale distribution firms including importers, brokers, re-wholesalers, and transporters; horticultural service firms providing landscape and urban forestry services such as design, installation, and maintenance; and retail operations including independent garden centers, florists, home improvement centers, and lawn/garden departments at home centers, mass merchandisers, or other chain stores. Many current economic trends and driving forces point to the fact that the green industry is in a period of hypercompetitive rivalry due to the maturing consumer demand. A number of firms have already been forced out of the green industry during the 2008–09 recessionary shakeout period and others continue to exit. To address this issue, a workshop was organized by G. Zinati for the 2009 ASHS annual meeting entitled “Managing and Thriving in Tough Times, When Every Dime Counts!”, which was sponsored by the Nursery Crops (NUR) and Marketing and Economics (MKEC) Working Groups and the American Nursery and Landscape Association (ANLA). This lead-off workshop presentation: 1) provided an overview of current economic conditions and trends and their influence on the green industry, 2) discussed supply-side methods and technologies for controlling costs during an economic downturn, and 3) addressed proactive demand-side differentiation and pricing strategies that will not only help ensure survival, but will also better position green industry firms for competing profitably in this period of hypercompetition.

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Tanya J. Hall, Roberto G. Lopez, Maria I. Marshall and Jennifer H. Dennis

customers (26.9%) followed by landscapers/independent garden centers (20.4%). In 2007, 42.9% of growers had gross sales over $1 million. The majority of growers (57.1%) had a covered greenhouse production area of less than 1 acre (less than 43,560 square

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Mary Hockenberry Meyer and Karl Foord

gardening ( National Gardening Association, 2005 ). Concern has been raised about a maturing gardening industry, along with the age of people who are gardening ( White and Beytes, 2006 ). Competition between mass merchants and independent garden centers has

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Marco A. Palma, Yu-Jen Chen, Charles Hall, David Bessler and David Leatham

and consumer preferences for orchid attributes. Several independent garden centers in Hawaii who are also orchid growers were interested in gaining insights into consumer attitudes and preferences for orchids and orchid attributes in the Hawaiian

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Dewayne L. Ingram, Timothy A. Woods, Wuyang Hu and Susmitha S. Nambuthiri

independent garden center. Traditionally, these buyer groups have quite different buying patterns. Commercial installers would be expected to purchase in bulk, look for volume discounts, and have a view toward providing an installation service, whereas garden

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Bridget K. Behe, Patricia T. Huddleston, Charles R. Hall, Hayk Khachatryan and Benjamin Campbell

participants had primarily purchased plant-related items from a home improvement store. Nearly one-quarter reported that most of their purchases were made from an independent garden center and only 15% indicated that most of those purchases were made at the

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Shannon C. Mason, Terri W. Starman, R.D. Lineberger and Bridget K. Behe

demographics section of the survey was analyzed using the SPSS procedure “Frequencies” to determine the descriptive statistics of these data, including frequencies and percentages. An independent garden center assisted in sending out an e-mail invitation to