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CLIPBOARD : The Garden / Farm Supply Market

December 01, 1990

Garden and farm supply stores did $25 million in business during 1990's first quarter, making Orange County the second largest county market in the state for such transactions. Los Angeles County, the largest market, recorded about twice as much in sales, a 2% increase from the same period in 1989. Orange County's total increased 6%.

Although Orange County and it's four neighbors are heavily urbanized, they represent five of the top 10 garden/farm supply markets in the state. And one-third (35%) of 1990's first quarter business statewide was transacted in the five-county area. Here's how Orange and the other counties compare:

First First % of 1990 1990 Quarter Quarter Percent State State County 1989 1990 Change Total Ranking Los Angeles $45,271 $46,225 +2 14 1 Orange 23,896 25,429 +6 7 2 Riverside 16,005 15,542 -3 5 7 San Bernardino 8,764 10,597 +1 3 10 San Diego 21,007 21,815 +4 6 5 Five-County Total $114,943 $119,608 +4 35 -- STATE TOTAL $315,553 $345,287 +9 100 --

Note: Transactions listed in thousands of dollars.


Farm and garden supplies are a $100 million business in Orange County and growing rapidly. In fact, in the five years between 1985 and 1989, the most recent year for which information is available, sales at these stores increased 51%--and 26% of that was during the last two years. At the same time, there has been a 12% increase in the numbers of stores, bringing the 1989 total to 176. Here's how both sales and number of outlets grew during the 1985-89 five-year period: Outlets 1989: 164

1988: 173

1987: 176

1986: 157

1985: 157


Average sales at the county's garden/farm supply stores has been growing as well, topping $616,000 per store in 1989, the most recent year for which information is available. In 1989, however, the average sales rate of increase dropped to 4.9% above the 1988 figure--down from 11.8% between 1987 and 1988. During the two years before, increases of around 7% were recorded.

Despite the increased sales and average sales, the place of garden supply stores in the greater county economy hasn't changed dramatically though it has grown. In 1985, sales equaled 0.55% of the county's entire retail trade. That figure grew steadily, reaching 0.63% in 1988 and then leveling off at 0.62% last year.

Here's the five year trend in average sales at each of the county's stores:

Source: California State Board of Equalization

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