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Re: new hosta at Walmart

  • Subject: Re: new hosta at Walmart
  • From: halinar@open.org
  • Date: Tue, 5 Jun 2001 09:31:28 -0700 (PDT)

Bill:

>Hostas like Great Expectations, Patriot & June ... are being offered 
>to retail Nurseries in Ontario for $2.50 each right now, in a half 
>price sale. 

I think that a lot of people who have been commenting of this hoasts 
at Wal-Mart thread are missing a point.  A lot of the speciality 
nurseries are basically mon and pop businesses and many are also 
basically hobbyist business.  In a hobby business you want to make 
enough money to cover your costs, but the income you generate isn't 
your life blood.  On the other hand you have people who are in the 
horticulture business growing and selling plants just like Ford Motor 
Company builds and sells cars.  When you are in the business as your 
livelihood you look at things differently then the hobbyist business. 
The hobbyist business may not consider the cost of dividing and 
potting up hostas because they don't have to pay themselves a salary. 
However, when the business person tells his employees to divide and 
pot up hostas he has to pay them for their labor.  If a hobbyist 
business has too many potted hostas they can dump them on the compost 
pile, but if the business person did that he might as well take 
thousands of dollars and burn it because that would be in effect what 
they would be doing.  

It really doesn't make too much difference to me just what hosta is in 
a pot, assuming it isn't difficult to propagate.  It costs me the same 
amount of money for the pots and potting mix and it takes the same 
amount of time to pot up a cheap hosta as an expensive hosta, and a 
gallon pot takes up the same amount of space regardless of whats in 
the pot.  Thus, after awhile hostas that are being sold through the 
wholesale chain to stores like Wal-Mart are basically worth the same. 
Thus, after awhile you will see better and better quality hostas as 
the better quality hostas are TCed.  After awhile enough plants are 
built up so that normal increase can supply all the plants needed.  I 
could take potted plants of Francee and Patriot to Wal-Mart for the 
same price.  Not getting into any argument as to which is the better 
plant, I bet Wal-Mart's customers will buy more Patriot then Francee 
and I'll make more money selling Patriot then Francee.  Once I have 
the same stock of Patriot as Francee it doesn't make much different to 
me which one Wal-Mart would want.  

Another point that needs to be considered when looking at any plant 
items at the mass marketers is the UPC bar code.  Most nurseries don't 
have UPC codes for every product they have.  They may have a code for 
one gallon pots, two gallon pots or quart pots.  Thus, everything in a 
gallon pot has to be sold to the marketer for the same price.  This is 
a problem a nursery friend of mine has.  

Joe Halinar
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