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Julie H. Campbell and Benjamin L. Campbell

) and Lowe’s (Moorseville, NC), and mass merchandisers (MMs), such as Wal-Mart (Bentonville, AR) and Target (Minneapolis, MN), is essential for retailers if they wish to make informed marketing and production decisions. Anecdotal evidence has suggested

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Marco A. Velástegui Andrade and Roger A. Hinson

market channels that already existed at that time. In a 2003 survey, sales were collected for five marketing channels: mass merchandiser retailers, home centers, garden centers, landscapers, and rewholesalers (including horticultural distribution centers

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Madiha Zaffou and Benjamin L. Campbell

nursery/greenhouse firms operate on “thin profit margins” ( Sturdivant, 2013 ), it is important to understand how local labeling and the intrinsic value, if any, associated with an outlet type (i.e., home improvement center/mass merchandiser vs. nursery

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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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Roger A. Hinson and Roberto Navajas

Terms of sale can affect nursery growers' costs. Terms typically have included price, quantity, and quality, but others may be added when growers sell to large customers. Because the industry is very competitive, growers are hesitant to turn down a sale simply because they are asked to pay another cost or provide another service. For this study, a list of items that might be in the terms of sale was developed. Growers were surveyed to determine which of these items were included in the agreement in 1996 and 2001. McNemar's test was used to determine whether proportions of items being added to the agreement were significantly different from items being removed when considering the mass merchandiser and the garden center market channels. Five of the items had significantly more additions to the terms of sale for mass merchandisers, contrasted to four for the garden center channel. Two of these items, apply barcode stickers and continuous inventory replenishment, were significant for both channels. The other significant items for the mass merchandiser channel were provide custom containers, provide returnable shipping equipment, and take back unsold merchandise. These are items can that enhance competitive position and provide cost savings. For garden centers, the other two items with significantly different proportions were attach product information tags, which is a service demanded by consumers, and provide minimum volume, which can reduce the number of suppliers needed in this channel.

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Charles R. Hall, Alan W. Hodges and John J. Haydu

The United States environmental horticulture industry, also known as the Green Industry, is comprised of wholesale nursery and sod growers; landscape architects, designers/builders, contractors, and maintenance firms; retail garden centers, home centers, and mass merchandisers with lawn and garden departments; and marketing intermediaries such as brokers and horticultural distribution centers (re-wholesalers). Environmental horticulture is one of the fastest growing segments of the nation's agricultural economy. In spite of the magnitude and recent growth in the Green Industry, there is surprisingly little information regarding its economic impact. Thus, the objective of this study was to estimate the economic impacts of the Green Industry at the national level. Economic impacts for the U.S. Green Industry in 2002 were estimated at $147.8 billion in output, 1,964,339 jobs, $95.1 billion in value added, $64.3 billion in labor income, and $6.9 billion in indirect business taxes, with these values expressed in 2004 dollars. In addition, this study evaluated the value and role of urban forest trees (woody ornamental trees); the total output of tree production and care services was valued at $14.55 billion, which translated into $21.02 billion in total output impacts, 259,224 jobs, and $14.12 billion in value added.

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Bridget Behe and Susan Barton

SERVQUAL has been demonstrated to be a reliable and valid tool to measure customer perceptions and expectations of service quality. Two previous uses of the survey in the horticulture industry were identified. In Spring 1997, we adapted the SERVQUAL instrument to survey 701 customers of 10 retail garden centers (TR) and four nontraditional retail or mass-merchandise outlets (MM) in seven U.S. markets. Among the seven markets, customers differed on only two of six demographic characteristics: income and number of people residing in the household. Demographic characteristics of TR and MM customers were similar in terms of age (47 and 45 years), people residing in the household (2), percent female respondents (77% and 73%), and family status. Customers differed demographically on 1996 household income ($50,722 and $44,753). Customers of TR and MM had similarly high expectations for three of five service quality and one product quality dimensions. However, TR customer perceptions were consistently higher on all service and product quality dimensions than MM customers. This yielded consistently higher service quality gaps for MM customers when compared to TR customers. We concluded that TR hold an advantage in these seven markets with higher customer perceptions of product and service quality.

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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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Benjamin Campbell, Hayk Khachatryan and Alicia Rihn

purchasing at mass merchandiser/home improvement centers and nursery/greenhouse garden centers, we used a two-limit tobit model developed by Rossett and Nelson (1975) . A pollinator-friendly plant purchasing value was obtained by asking survey respondents

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Chengyan Yue and Bridget K. Behe

products; box stores (BS) such as mass merchandisers and club centers; and direct-to-consumers (DC) outlets including Internet and telephone is becoming more intense. Other retail stores (OS) not characterized here such as street venders and farmer