Author: Sjanne Schouls, owner of Groenrijk Zevenaar (garden centre)
A lot has happened, last year, last month, last week and even today. In fact, there hasn’t been a dull day ever since I first started working in the company with my father. Together with our team, we have to continuously anticipate new situations in terms of sales and purchasing, with the commitment, knowledge and flexibility of employees a key factor in how well we do this.
This weekend, employees and customers were once again able to dispense with wearing facemasks. With the recent heat, we had been really looking forward to this; however, when the time came, we secretly had to get used to not wearing masks again! Fortunately, it is now nice and busy in the shop and we are slowly catching up on the backlog in turnover. What is remarkable is that, although the number of customers is lagging behind, average spending is increasing. In my opinion, this is not only due to price increases, but also to the more conscious choices that consumers are making these days: price is less of a factor, because even relatively expensive bedding plants have been selling like hot cakes. We also notice that what we draw extra attention to in our presentations and communications is well received. From 16 June to 6 July, for example, we devoted extra attention to the Kalanchoe Garden. This plant is an ideal garden plant in summer because it can withstand heat well. Furthermore, the Kalanchoe Garden, with its exuberant and long flowering period, turns a drab environment into a beautiful, colourful oasis: from grey to green, then, which was reason enough for GroenRijk to name the Kalanchoe Garden Plant of the Month in June! It is always good to see our extra care and attention being converted into better sales, as this means there’s a purpose to what we do.
In other respects, the scarcity in the market is making it tricky to predict supply and demand. As a result, the pressure on hardware procurement for next spring is high, while we are still receiving back orders from last spring°. At the moment, the question is not only if but when we will reach tipping point; still, at least everyone is in the same boat in this respect. It is crucial, however, to take the right course now, except at the moment we are unsure of which one is the right one.
So, a few months earlier than usual, we are already busy with the trends and purchases for spring 2022. It is bizarre how quickly everything keeps changing, yet crazier still how quickly we get used to and anticipate everything!