With consumers spending more money on landscaping and their lawns, it is not surprising the purchase incidence of garden equipment, furniture, and décor is strong as well. Purchase incidence of garden equipment, furniture, and decorative items for the garden (i.e., garden hardware) was 42 percent in 2003, down slightly from results of 47 percent in 2001.

Industry Snapshot

As discussed previously, The National Gardening Association estimates that Americans spent in total $39.6 billion on their lawns and gardens in 2002, a 17 percent increase over spending of $33.5 billion in 2000 (see Figure 8.13). If we subtract spending on plant material from the total, we find that consumer spending on gardening hardware—products, tools, fertilizer, equipment, decorative accents, and other nonliving materials that enhance the gardening experience or gardening environment—is $21.4 billion, up 38.1 percent over 2000 sales. That makes garden equipment, accessories, and décor the fastest growing category in the garden market today.




% CHG '00-'02

Total Personal Consumption in billions




Plant Material




Garden Hardware




Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis; National Gardening Association Consumer Survey, 2002

Figure 8.13: Lawn and Garden Industry Snapshot

Retail Overview

Retailers that attract gardening enthusiasts for plant material also tend to attract them for equipment and garden decorations, so The Home Depot and Lowe's are major retailers of gardening hardware, used by 63 percent of shoppers. Discount department stores are also major providers of this class of products to consumers. In fact, consumers are more likely to buy garden hardware (27 percent) from the discounters than they are to buy plant material (19 percent).

In terms of specialty retailers, the top name in garden décor is Smith & Hawken. The company targets the upscale market with 45 specialty retail stores in 20 states and a direct mail catalog and Internet site for gardening enthusiasts. It specializes in well-designed garden décor, furniture, tools, and garden containers, along with garden apparel, housewares, plants, bulbs, and books. The company had sales of about $100 million and recently partnered with Saks to add garden boutiques into more than 240 Saks stores nationwide.

Purchase Drivers

Spending on one category for the home frequently results in additional spending in other categories, justified by the original purchase. It is no different with consumers' spending on the garden. The upgrade of plants, landscaping, or the lawn often results in the purchase of garden equipment, furniture, and decorations to match the new, improved outdoor look. As one consumer explained: "We just put in a finished patio and new sidewalk, so we needed plants to complement that. Then we needed patio furniture to complement that. It gives me a feeling of accomplishment."

Grills are a frequently named utilitarian purchase for the garden, with the grill providing the owner with a new way to cook. One woman told us: "My husband is crazy about grills. We already have four grills. The gas grill is for me because I love the convenience and don't want to build a fire. My husband likes to cook regularly and use hickory. Now he wants to buy a smoker, not just one, but two, so one smoker can be at home and another one at the campground. I think we have enough already. I ask him how often he will use a smoker. Once a year is what I say, so why buy two?"

Demographic Variables

Men and women report about the same purchase incidence of garden equipment and accessories, suggesting that both men and women are equally involved with such purchases. Like the purchase of outdoor plants and landscaping, the purchase incidence is highest among more mature households, aged 35 to 54. While there are no meaningful regional differences in purchase incidence, white households are more likely to purchase than black households.

Purchase incidence is concentrated among the middle-to-upper-income ranges. Home ownership seems to be an important link. Purchase incidence is highest among the most affluent, with incomes of $75,000 or more. Greater educational attainment is also linked to increased purchase incidence. Larger households and those with children are more likely to buy garden equipment and accessories than single-person households and those without children.

Key Demographics of Buyers of Garden Equipment and Décor.

  • This category is gender neutral.

  • Households with incomes of $35,000 or more, especially $75,000 and above, purchase more.

  • Purchase incidence is highest among households aged 35 to 54.

  • Larger households and those with children buy more.

  • White households are more likely than black households to buy.

Why People Buy Things They Don't Need. Understanding and Predicting Consumer Behavior
Why People Buy Things They Dont Need: Understanding and Predicting Consumer Behavior
ISBN: 0793186021
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 137

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