Case | HBS Case Collection | May 2009

Ceres Gardening Company: Funding Growth in Organic Products

by John H. McArthur and Sunru Yong


Ceres is a leading player in the growing organic gardening industry, selling seeds, small plants, and related items. Their distribution depends heavily on retail sales through independent nurseries and garden centers. Because these small dealers are unable to finance much inventory, Ceres has crafted its Get Ceres program, which offers steep discounts and vendor financing. Ceres hopes both to accelerate its penetration into new retail accounts and to encourage dealers to accept more inventory in anticipation of seasonal sales. A key focus of the case is the relationship between marketing strategy and credit policy. The case invites students to analyze a range of financial information and to make financial projections; a student spreadsheet (product 4019) is available free of charge.

Keywords: Accounting procedures; financial statements; marketing; Sales; Marketing channels; Expansion; Business growth; Plant-Based Agribusiness; Marketing Strategy; Expansion; Business Growth and Maturation; Marketing Channels; Credit; Financial Statements; Sales; Retail Industry; Agriculture and Agribusiness Industry;


McArthur, John H., and Sunru Yong. "Ceres Gardening Company: Funding Growth in Organic Products." Harvard Business School Brief Case 094-017, May 2009.