Improved weather conditions and a promising economic situation are two of the reasons for the positive outlook for the U.S. lawn and landscape industry, said GE Capital. Both GE Capital’s wholesale and retail lending businesses will participate in the upcoming GIE+Expo 2013 in Louisville, KY.
“Last year, the industry was hindered by the drought in the Midwest and Southeast,” said Mike Horak, president of the Outdoor Products Group, which provides wholesale financing to the industry as part of GE Capital’s Commercial Distribution Finance (CDF) business. “Despite a late rainy spring this year, the majority of the U.S. experienced an excellent, long growing season. At the same time, consumer spending continues to increase. All of these conditions lead to our positive expectations for both the commercial and residential segments of the lawn care industry.”
For more than 20 years, CDF has played an important role in the green industry. Inventory financing, also known as floorplan financing, enables dealers to stock, market and sell lawn care products. Manufacturers generally benefit from enhanced product flow and increased sales opportunities, while dealers can obtain improved credit availability and terms. CDF invites show attendees to learn more about inventory financing and the online tools that can help dealers manage their businesses.
The favorable industry outlook extends to consumer financing, with more outdoor power equipment shoppers investing in products and services that help them enhance their home landscapes. In fact, while consumers carefully consider before they buy, 41 percent of random major purchase shoppers say they are more open to making a large purchase than they were a year ago, according to GE Capital Retail Bank’s 2013 Major Purchase Shopper Study*.“Our research reveals that lawn and garden shoppers spend an average of 65 days researching their purchases, including payment options,” explained Gary Slagle, general manager of Outdoor Power Equipment for GE Capital’s Retail Finance business. “That’s why offering special financing programs, and integrating them at every marketing touchpoint, is an important way to drive greater customer satisfaction, sales and referrals.”