Reasons why Garden Centres should be happy in 2023
- Container prices are down making Far East imports up to 20% cheaper. One Garden Centre says pots and container sales were better in December and January than the previous month.
- A hard lesson is that lots of plants have frozen this Winter. Some Growers and Garden Centres have lost hundreds and even thousands of plants, while many gardeners have lost plants too. Sort out protection for next year, label vulnerable plants, and buy hardier stock. Customers will also be looking to replace frozen and scorched plants from 2022’s weather extremes, so promote hardy substitutes.
- Promote peat-free now to boost your green credentials. Start selling bagged peat stocks to make sure you’re not left with any by the end of 2024 when the ban comes in.
- Sales are booming in the Cafes so make sure they are working to the max all day long and linking to Garden Centres sales through events, table talkers and product demonstrations.
- Grow your Own’ products could do well this year due to the recession
- Houseplants are still on trend so keep new varieties coming.
- There should be no shortages this year so buyer's stress should be lower and missed sales opportunities fewer.
Top tips to protect your business as sales flatline:
- Improve your gross margin, you can do this by increasing prices but other ways are looking at reducing shoplifting by customers, admin errors, supplier mistakes and product damage. Reducing shrinkage even by 1 or 2% of your total sales value will have a significant impact on your bottom line. You may not be able to control inflation, but you can control the shrinkage
- Keep your eye on your wage bill. The ratio which measures wages as a percentage of sales is a significant performance indicator. If you experience a significant and prolonged decline in sales you will have to consider reducing the size of your workforce, either by reducing the total number of people in the business or reducing the total number of hours worked.
- Sell more to your existing customers where possible.
See full article in HortWeek's February Issue……