Weather and economy challenge lawn & garden equipment marketers

Weather and economy challenge lawn & garden equipment marketers

Just in time for summer, Packaged Facts provides industry-leading market research on home-related consumer goods products in the reportLawn and Garden Equipment in the U.S. 11th Edition.

Americans love to care for their lawns and gardens.  But the economy and weather haven’t been very cooperative for marketers.  Lawn and Garden Equipment in the U.S. 11th Edition details how L&G equipment sales peaked at the height of the housing boom in 2005, and have been declining and trying to recover since.   The mature market is highly dependent on the economy, housing, household formation, weather, and seasonality.  Continued economic challenges have made market recovery uneven and weather has also created fluctuations in sales year-to-year.  The market stabilized somewhat between 2010 and 2014 with sales declining by a CAGR of 0.2%. This is an improvement over 2008 to 2012, when sales declined by a CAGR of more than 1%. 

Packaged Facts estimates total retail sales of the L&G equipment market, consisting of outdoor power equipment (OPE), tools and implements (T/I), and watering/spraying equipment (W/S), at $10.2 billion in 2014.  Overall growth has been driven by segments of OPE, which accounted for 68% or $7 billion of total sales.    Riding/tractor lawn mowers and zero-turn models in particular have become increasingly popular with consumers.  So have electric products, particularly lithium ion battery-powered models that have been expanding from hand-held tools like trimmers and leaf blowers to bigger machines such as lawn mowers and snow throwers.  The battery-powered segment is expected to continue growing as battery technology is improving rapidly to deliver power and performance equal to gas-powered products.  Lawn and Garden Equipment in the U.S. 11th Edition discusses why some consumers love these products and the new technologies and marketers that are challenging leading players in this arena. 

Leading players are relatively few in this market.  Few marketers compete across all categories, and leaders differ by category.  Husqvarna and MTD Products, each with multiple brands, remain the largest marketers of OPE. TTI and Black & Decker are leaders in electric OPE (corded and battery.)  Ames, through multiple brand offerings, is the leader by a wide margin in T/I, and is a major player in some W/S products.  Sears is a major retailer of L&G equipment, but also a leading marketer through its private label Craftsman brand.  Private label store brands are significant factors in the market with Home Depot and Lowe’s marketing their own extensive product lines through multiple brands.   

Retailing is even more concentrated than marketing in this market. Home Depot and Lowe’s, plus Walmart and Sears/Kmart (both owned by Sears Holdings) dominate sales of L&G equipment in the U.S. They along with other mass retailers control 75% of total market sales and at least 80% of OPE sales.  Consumers also shop the Internet aggressively, mainly for information and pricing on OPE.  It’s estimated that more than a third of OPE consumers shop online, seeking price comparisons and information on product features.   Both retailers and marketers have embraced omni-channel retailing which integrates the Internet (computers and mobile devices) with bricks-and-mortar stores, direct mail, and catalogs to provide consumers with a convenient, seamless shopping experience allowing them to buy wherever, however, and whenever they want. 

AddLawn and Garden Equipment in the U.S. 11th Edition to your intelligence library and receive a 5% discount during our promotional period effective through October 15, 2015. Use code PFLG715.

-- Tom Pastre