California nursery Armstrong buys North Carolina's Pike Nursery

Pike Nurseries which went on the action block, has had various assets bought up by several different people and companies. This one caught my attention. Armstrong Garden Centers of California has bought the Charlotte, NC store for over $5 million. They get the right to use the Pike Name as well as some other retail locations and assets.

Armstrong nurseries have been a southern California staple for years. They have begun moving into northern California with the opening of their store in Dublin, in the Bay Area. Now they are moving into North Carolina. Here is a list of all the Armstrong Stores and their locations.

With over thirty-two stores when does an “independent” cross that divide to “chain store”? Is this move to a completely different environment than California a good one for this organization. I have my doubts, but I haven't been following Armstrong that closely.

Armstrong does seem to be a lot like Pike Nurseries was, so it may be a good fit. Armstrong Nurseries have a generally good reputation from what I can gather, so it's nice that where there was a Pike Nursery there will now be an Armstrong (Pike) to shop at. I am just wondering about a move outside of the region they have worked for so many years. While the drought won't last for ever, what will Armstrong do until then? They have to get the store up and running before spring only to stare straight into the face of water restrictions and negative press. It will be interesting to watch.