We talked a couple of days ago about, "The Day Your Supplier Sells Direct to The Customer". It was about the inevitability that some of our suppliers will sell direct to the public, rather than using the traditional sales chain of wholesale, to retail, to the customer.
Four Winds Nursery is a great example of a company that has decided to sell direct to the customer, as well as the box stores, and the smaller indie garden centers. Four Winds grows and sells mostly citrus trees and have been around longer than I can remember. They we're at one time a indie garden shop supplier, then the headed into the box stores, and now they will sell directly to the end user!
The online section of their web page offers foil gift wrapping. They ship to most of the country, and also have "Citrus Zester" you can pick up in the kitchen department. What a great gift idea for friends or relatives back east. A dwarf lime tree for their mojitos! Spend over $120 and you even get a 10% discount. Wait, don't people want to drive over to your store, possibly find that citrus tree, and then figure out how to ship to their relatives? You think they will be happy to hear you say "we don't ship"? What a hassle when all they have to do is "click" buy and ship at The Four Winds Online Store.
There are only so many suppliers of citrus trees, so the trees that Four Winds ships would have been the same trees in your nursery! What a win for the customer, and Four Winds.
Welcome to the future of garden retail.