The lawn and garden market is expected to post $21.5 billion at retail sales in 2011, down slightly from $22.7 billion in 2007, according to Packaged Facts’ just-released report on “Lawn and Garden Products and Services in the U.S.”
The power and manual equipment category accounts for 51 percent of the overall market, with garden supplies edging out lawn care and landscaping services for the remainder. Packaged Facts survey data also show that home center chains (including Lowe's and Home Depot) account for a 55-perecent share of sales for lawn and garden equipment and supplies, though this share has slipped over the past few years as discount chains and mass merchandisers attract economically wary and recession-strapped consumers seeking out lower-priced products.
Closely linked to housing and employment trends, the lawn and garden market has been constrained by the Great Recession and its lingering drag on the economy, as well as other dampening factors including high energy prices and climate concerns.
Some of those challenges also represent opportunities, however, according to Packaged Facts publisher David Sprinkle. For example, while “green” gardeners may dial down on conventional lawn and garden product purchases ranging from gas-powered machinery to synthetic fertilizers and insecticides, they also are creating demand for a new generation of sustainable products and services to support organic gardening and home food gardening. The ever-important aging Boomer segment also holds promise, including in professional lawn care services.
“Lawn and Garden Products and Services in the U.S.” argues that if the market is to resume healthy growth it must develop new and sustainability-oriented selling propositions independent of housing expansion. Otherwise, market players are relegated to catering to a diminished pool of homeowners facing difficult times and increasingly unpredictable weather and seasonal patterns. “Green” lawns and gardens, culminating in the “edible yard,” thus represent both the greatest challenge to the status quo in the industry and its most compelling opportunity.