LEESPORT, Pa. – Bower & Branch, Trees for Life, a fast-growing group of independent family owned growers and garden centers has announced that it is continuing expansion with the addition of Decker’s Nursery as a grower member.
Decker’s Nursery joins Bower & Branch as part of an exclusive group of grower members and will step into the network with an early focus on container-grown shrubs and evergreens beginning late summer 2017. As a grower member, Decker's Nursery will fulfill online consumer orders through its garden retailer members.
Trike forklift spacing at Decker's Nursery
The Columbus, Ohio-based business is internationally recognized as a propagation center that specializes in grafting and rooting of cuttings as well as finished retail-ready plant material.
“The Bower & Branch program offers us a fantastic portal to reach retail consumers,” said Brian Decker, president of Decker’s Nursery. “This is something that has been on my mind, but outside my reach for years. We will be growing higher quality items than what are currently available in the wholesale market, and as Bower & Branch continues to recruit a wide range of quality growers around the country, they will be able to offer an unprecedented diversity and new, licensed plant introductions,” said Decker. “Everyone wins by taking advantage of this opportunity.”
Bower & Branch has made it a habit of looking ahead to new opportunities. In 2015, for the first time, the online ‘tree-tailer’ made it possible for homeowners to find the exact tree they were looking for online. The critical differentiator was that homeowners would be making these online purchases through their local garden center, picking them up in store or having them delivered and planted by someone they trust. They started with trees and intentions to expand product groups, which is now being fulfilled.
“Until now, there was nothing to qualify an online plant purchase,” said Raisch. “How would it look when it arrived? Would it be a spindly, unhealthy looking little twig stuffed in a cardboard box? Who would you contact if you had questions or issues? Who would help you plant the tree and ensure its success? These were all barriers to selling trees and plants online,” said Raisch.
“But we created a new category by enlisting expert growers, creating a distribution network and partnering with the locally owned independent garden retailers people trust and want to see thrive in their local communities.”
In the past year, more than 250,000 consumers shopped at BowerAndBranch.com resulting in an online sales increase exceeding 100 percent and benefiting an expanding network of over 60 garden retailer members located throughout the Northeast, Mid Atlantic, and Midwest. Bower & Branch expects to fill in these regions and expanding products lines as additional growers and retailers are added.
“We are growing at a fast but controlled pace and expanding an efficient mode of transport,” said Raisch. “This requires thoughtful additions of growers who are close to the markets they serve and retailers who are ready to embrace doing business online,” Raisch added. “The connections, recognition and value explode as consumers have an opportunity to enjoy buying plants from real people who genuinely care. Our model of doing business prioritizes plant health and also the health of the local economy and community by doing business with local retailers and small family operated growers. ”
Family operated growers like Decker’s Nursery are the backbone of Bower & Branch.
“It’s clear that Bower & Branch is focused first on quality and customer satisfaction, without which any e-commerce effort would be destined to fail,” said Decker. “So new and younger customers will continue to be drawn to retailers’ stores by the online experience and the local Bower & Branch garden retailer members will have a strong interest in enriching the relationship even further in store.”
Today, Bower & Branch is increasing its tree offering and adding a host of flowering shrubs, conifers and broadleaf evergreens to its e-commerce shop —something the coalition of garden centers and growers intends to continue.
“I sleep well knowing there are growers like Brian Decker who are growing for the future: the new green industry,” said Don Eaton, Bower & Branch founder.