Photo: Conner Howard

An unusually cold, snowy April for many garden centers across the country led to a very condensed spring selling season in May, with many retailers playing catch up and hoping to make up for losses.

April 2018 was one of the coldest on record, and some areas had record-breaking snow accumulations, as well. According to an article on The Weather Channel, there were 40 locations in 13 states in the Midwest, Northeast, Plains and even the South that experienced record-breaking cold when compared to past Aprils, after the official start of spring. 

But May was a completely different story, as retailers from Seattle to St. Louis told Garden Center magazine that they had some of the strongest sales in history during the first few weekends of the traditionally busy month and completely made up for lost time in April. Others said customers were still coming through their doors in June.

Garden Center magazine is still compiling data for its annual State of the Industry Report, published in November, but sales volumes reported by its Top 100 Independent Garden Centers were higher than last year in most cases. In 2017, the 100th garden center on the list reported $1.5 million in sales volume. This year, the lowest number on the list was $2.1 million, with promising signs of growth for retailers of all sizes.

Michelle is the editor of sister publication Garden Center. msimakis@gie.net