This is why I say it does matter where you buy your garden supplies. We work hard at our nursery to keep all the plants that we have looking great. Have we ever had to throw out or give away plants? Yes. All nurseries have at one time or another had to get rid of plants that were diseased, or just in really poor shape. We have however, never thrown away plants that were still salable just to get credit from the wholesale nurseries. You see, we have to buy the plants before we sell them. If they die because of something we did we â€œeat the lossâ€. No credit from the wholesale nurseries for the small independent nursery.
Now read Freda's comment at my last post. She says she worked at Lowes' so her description of what goes on is interesting. Then I found a Google alert that sent me to Garden Web and a thread on plant practices at Home Depot. It's worth reading too. What I like is the comments from various folks in response to bestestmommy and her post.
Like many of the commenter's to bestestmommy I agree that chain and box stores are not evil, just ruthless. Like one of the commenter's said, its often the local manager that makes the difference in the shopping experience. Some of the commenter's said they are tired of hearing about this issue. If you like the boxes so be it. If you don't, don't shop there.
My complaint stems from the view of a small independent garden center. I realize that the volume these box stores and chains do is the reason they get preferential treatment from the wholesale nurseries. I just don't understand why the box stores get plants to sell and don't have to pay for them until they sell them (pay at scan). Why not offer that to the independents? We take better care of the plants, and I would guess that the percentage of plants that would be â€œtossedâ€ would be lower. It's almost as if these wholesale nurseries have been working against the independents. Of course many have! We are small! Smaller loads, more deliveries, more little businesses to deal with. It's all so much easier when its big stores taking volume.
Now we hear that Hines wants to court the independent because we account for a â€œstrong 25% of their salesâ€. Not only that but it would appear that Lowes' is in some financial difficulties, and Home Depots sales may be down due to the slow down in the economy.
We are just 40 miles from Sacramento and 12 miles from the nearest Home Depot and in the four years we have been in business here I have never seen a sales rep from Hines. Not that I would buy anything from them anyway.
Gee, what fair weather friends we have.