Member Profile: Peter Mahoney, Co-Owner & Partner Mahoney’s, 7 retail locations in Massachusetts
Putting ‘Quality First’ Has Been A Profitable Philosophy For 60-Year-Old Home & Garden Retailer Since Mahoney’s Garden Center was founded in 1959 as a vegetable farm stand, delivering quality has always been its No. 1 focus, according to Peter Mahoney, Co-Owner and Partner of his family’s business. “To this day, we really believe in giving the customer good value for our products,” he says. “It will always be quality first.” Evolving from the farm stand that Paul Mahoney established in Winchester, MA, six decades ago, Mahoney’s has grown to include seven retail stores (Brighton, Chelmsford, Concord, East Falmouth, Osterville, Tewksbury and Winchester), one growing range with 5 acres under glass, a second production facility that’s outdoors and a 200-acre Christmas tree farm in Nova Scotia. “We’re big on offering variety – that’s where we stand out,” Peter says. “Even our smaller stores, you’re going to find a lot more variety than you would see in a typical box store.” He notes that, due to the size of their operation, they’re able to take advantage of some great buys with growers. They maintain a great relationship with their vendors to be able to source some spectacular plants, which translates to good results at the cash registers. Mahoney’s is a big driver of color – whether it’s hydrangeas, annuals or perennials – the retail stores are a destination for color plants. They receive deliveries of fresh product daily, especially during April, May and June, and even, during the summer months. The fresh product is positioned front and center in the stores through creative displays, drawing in crowds to see what’s new and ringing up sales of the hottest new items. “We have a high percentage of plant sales compared to the typical garden center,” Peter says. The offerings across all retail locations are pretty consistent, with staples like annuals, perennials, trees and shrubs, but then they differ on products based on the size of the store and demographic of the area. For instance, the smaller store in Brighton has more selection of products geared toward small-space gardeners in condos and apartments, who may have only a patio or balcony to display plants. In an effort to inspire and attract customers to the store, Mahoney’s produces in-store videos every week for social media, reassuring customers that the store is live and fresh with new product and valuable knowledge. This also helps attract younger consumers to the stores and spread the love of gardening to a whole new set of shoppers. Mahoney’s is cashing in on the houseplant boom, which is especially popular among Millennial and Gen Z shoppers. “We keep those new, exciting indoor plants rolling in all year long,” Peter says. In 2017, they closed the Wayland retail location and doubled the size of the Concord store, which was only 7 miles from the store that closed. The Concord’s offerings doubled, including the greenhouses and shade areas, and, according to Peter, it’s paying off. Now, he has his eyes set on expanding one of the city locations in the near future. In an effort to create merchandise vignettes that fill customers with inspiration and resemble their own spaces at home, Mahoney’s has started incorporating more garden decor into displays of plants. Since they’ve seen good results with that, they’ll continue to explore cross-merchandising. When the tables are turned and it’s Peter and his staff who need fresh inspiration, they turn to industry associations and events. As a former board member of Garden Centers of America, Peter sees the value in networking with other garden center leaders. “We see tremendous value in visiting other stores,” he says. “It doesn’t matter the size or scope, there’s always something to offer that you can pick up on by visiting – whether it’s on the tours, through peer groups or at trade shows.” He continues, “We pretty much cover all the trade shows. We’ve been perennial attenders of the IGC Show, and we’ve always gone on the GCA Tours. No matter the group, the sharing of ideas is of tremendous value.” “My dad grew up in the era of pioneering the industry, and he was always on good rapport with his competitors, because they were building the industry from the ground up. They had no other reference but to share ideas, and even though they were competitors, they were always very friendly.” Even to this day, Peter follows this philosophy and keeps in contact with competitors. “We know our customers are going to shop different garden centers, and we’re never going to be their only shop,” he says. “We want, as an industry, to continue this dialogue with competitors and see what they’re seeing.”
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Member Profile: Peter Mahoney, Co-Owner & Partner Mahoney’s, 7 retail locations in Massachusetts
Putting ‘Quality First’ Has Been A Profitable Philosophy For 60-Year-Old Home & Garden Retailer Since Mahoney’s Garden Center was founded in 1959 as a vegetable farm stand, delivering quality has always been its No. 1 focus, according to Peter Mahoney, Co-Owner and Partner of his family’s business. “To this day, we really believe in giving the customer good value for our products,” he says. “It will always be quality first.” Evolving from the farm stand that Paul Mahoney established in Winchester, MA, six decades ago, Mahoney’s has grown to include seven retail stores (Brighton, Chelmsford, Concord, East Falmouth, Osterville, Tewksbury and Winchester), one growing range with 5 acres under glass, a second production facility that’s outdoors and a 200-acre Christmas tree farm in Nova Scotia. “We’re big on offering variety – that’s where we stand out,” Peter says. “Even our smaller stores, you’re going to find a lot more variety than you would see in a typical box store.” He notes that, due to the size of their operation, they’re able to take advantage of some great buys with growers. They maintain a great relationship with their vendors to be able to source some spectacular plants, which translates to good results at the cash registers. Mahoney’s is a big driver of color – whether it’s hydrangeas, annuals or perennials – the retail stores are a destination for color plants. They receive deliveries of fresh product daily, especially during April, May and June, and even, during the summer months. The fresh product is positioned front and center in the stores through creative displays, drawing in crowds to see what’s new and ringing up sales of the hottest new items. “We have a high percentage of plant sales compared to the typical garden center,” Peter says. The offerings across all retail locations are pretty consistent, with staples like annuals, perennials, trees and shrubs, but then they differ on products based on the size of the store and demographic of the area. For instance, the smaller store in Brighton has more selection of products geared toward small-space gardeners in condos and apartments, who may have only a patio or balcony to display plants. In an effort to inspire and attract customers to the store, Mahoney’s produces in-store videos every week for social media, reassuring customers that the store is live and fresh with new product and valuable knowledge. This also helps attract younger consumers to the stores and spread the love of gardening to a whole new set of shoppers. Mahoney’s is cashing in on the houseplant boom, which is especially popular among Millennial and Gen Z shoppers. “We keep those new, exciting indoor plants rolling in all year long,” Peter says. In 2017, they closed the Wayland retail location and doubled the size of the Concord store, which was only 7 miles from the store that closed. The Concord’s offerings doubled, including the greenhouses and shade areas, and, according to Peter, it’s paying off. Now, he has his eyes set on expanding one of the city locations in the near future. In an effort to create merchandise vignettes that fill customers with inspiration and resemble their own spaces at home, Mahoney’s has started incorporating more garden decor into displays of plants. Since they’ve seen good results with that, they’ll continue to explore cross-merchandising. When the tables are turned and it’s Peter and his staff who need fresh inspiration, they turn to industry associations and events. As a former board member of Garden Centers of America, Peter sees the value in networking with other garden center leaders. “We see tremendous value in visiting other stores,” he says. “It doesn’t matter the size or scope, there’s always something to offer that you can pick up on by visiting – whether it’s on the tours, through peer groups or at trade shows.” He continues, “We pretty much cover all the trade shows. We’ve been perennial attenders of the IGC Show, and we’ve always gone on the GCA Tours. No matter the group, the sharing of ideas is of tremendous value.” “My dad grew up in the era of pioneering the industry, and he was always on good rapport with his competitors, because they were building the industry from the ground up. They had no other reference but to share ideas, and even though they were competitors, they were always very friendly.” Even to this day, Peter follows this philosophy and keeps in contact with competitors. “We know our customers are going to shop different garden centers, and we’re never going to be their only shop,” he says. “We want, as an industry, to continue this dialogue with competitors and see what they’re seeing.”
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Founded 1972
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Founded 1972