According to Todays Garden Center Hines' Nurseries says, "Tom Batt, was promoted to vice president of sales and marketing last week." Hines Nurseries has for years been one of the major suppliers of plant material to the box and chain stores. Now after a couple of tough years they have re-discovered the independent nursery. According to the article â€œmost of Hinesâ€™ business is with home improvement chains, mass merchandisers and supermarkets, independent garden centers represent a strong 25 percent of sales with about 8,000 retailers.â€ We independents are "strong 25% of sales". According to Batt, â€œIndependents are important to us and our industry. While a lot of our volume goes to the box stores, independent garden centers are a significant piece of our business. Some of them are big movers of products.â€ Batt, according to the article â€œbrings more than 20 years of experience in the horticulture industry and was most recently national sales director, managing the Loweâ€™s account for Hines.â€ This explains why he said of independents that, â€œmany of them are big movers of product.â€ I guess if your not a big mover of product then good luck. It also explains why they have suddenly found an interest in independents. Batt was responsible for the Lowes accounts at Hines, and as I understand it Lowes is having some financial problems right now so it makes since to make this move, as independents are a strong 25% of Hines sales.
We talked before how the wholesale suppliers of the box stores were going to come calling on the independents now that their biggest customers are not buying as much. I guess we are suppose to be happy that after years of neglect the big boys are sniffing around for business from the lowly independent. I don't think they will call on us as we are not â€œbig movers of productâ€. In addition, being in northern California we might have more wholesale operations to choose from than other areas. It may be easier for us to not do business with nurseries that sell to the chain stores. I wonder if the strong 25% of independents get the same "pay at scan" deal that Home Depot and the others get. It was my understanding that a wholesale nursery like Hines is not paid for its plants until the box store scans the plant at check out. If the plants don't sell, Home Depot does not have to pay for them. Hines eats the loss. Is this still true?