Akin says they’re seeing a shift in how people are caring for their plants.
“I see a little bit more of an upswing on your natural fertilizers and your more eco-friendly plant-care items. We’ve always been really big proponents of the Espoma products; we’ve really never had an issue selling Plant-tone and Holly-tone — that’s always been a really great partnership with us. But I do feel like we’re being asked to bring in more natural solutions.
“So every year we’re looking for more natural plant fertilizers. The marketing and the packaging [of these fertilizers] is really changing, and focusing toward that upswing and being one of the more natural solutions. Meanwhile, you don’t want to isolate customers who are still looking for the classic offerings. So we’re trying to have a good balance for our customers so they can find what they need. We’ll offer them other solutions and if they just want to go back to what has always worked for them, we still carry those products, products that their parents and grandparents probably use.
“We try to do a lot of education, you know, on how to apply any type of product and we hope that customers are listening.”
Akin also says she’s also seeing a boost in demand for native plants. “We’re lucky to have all of our growing facilities within easy distance from our stores. We always talk about how 98% of our plant material is grown locally right here in northeast Ohio, where all of our stores are. As far as shipping efficiencies and reducing that carbon footprint, everything is right here. We’re very proud of that.
“We also tend to overwinter plant stock in our stores as well, again trying to reduce that carbon footprint, not having to waste gas and what have you on shipping plants back and forth from the growing facility. We overwinter quite a few trees, some shrubs, evergreens, right on the store property. We’ve also been again scrutinizing shipping schedules and trying to make sure that, even though we want our stores to order as much as they need when they need it, we’re trying to make our store staff efficient at filling their trucks, filling their carts, making sure that they are ordering efficiently and putting those numbers together, too.”
Petitti Garden Centers is a family-owned home and garden business serving the Cleveland, Akron-Canton, and Youngstown, Ohio, communities.