The United States is a unique market against the rest of the world in its reliance on brick and mortar retail stores. While online retail has become the method of choice for purchases in much of the rest of the world, Americans prefer to get in their cars and have the instant gratification of making a purchase in a brick and mortar store. However, online retail continues to grow, therefore to be successful in American markets, brands need to be highly visible in both major online retailers and brick and mortar stores, especially major chain stores.
The two largest retailers of lawn and garden products are Lowes and Home Depot. These large stores are synonymous with DIY home improvement and lawn and garden care in America. Following Lowes and Home Depot is Walmart and Sears. These large retailers make up 75% of the lawn and garden retail market.
While lawn and garden market sales declined with the recession in the United States, following the collapse of the housing market, the market recovered quickly and has seen steady growth over the last five years. Market growth is projected to continue to grow at 3-5% over the next decade.
The remaining 25% of the market that is not held by mass retailers is mainly comprised of independent garden stores. While these are a relatively small portion of the market, they should not be overlooked when considering US distribution. There are about 16,000 independent lawn and garden stores across the United States which are popular with landscaping companies and avid gardeners in their local communities. These independent stores account for $30 billion in industry sales annually.
Distribution to independent stores can be a great entry point into the US market. Independent garden stores rely on distribution companies to stock their shelves, and these distribution channels are an important first step before gaining ground in large retailers.
Both independent stores and mass market retailers maintain omni-channel retailing, using a combination of brick and mortar stores, the internet, catalogs and direct mail. It is important that products and branding be consumer-friendly and easy to display in a variety of sales formats. A marketing company that is well versed and experienced in American garden industry market can help to navigate the route to successful distribution in the United States.