In Plantion’s general members’ meeting last night, we looked back on 2023, a difficult year for floriculture with global turmoil and high inflation. For Plantion, this translated into less supply and smaller volumes. The year is expected to end with a slight decrease in product sales and a 0 result. However, Plantion continued investing in innovation to strengthen its unique proposition, convenient online purchasing and physical inspiration. René Willemsen’s intention to extend his term as chairman by four years was greeted with applause.
While auction and mediation turnover fell slightly in 2023, we managed to continue the upward trend in online sales. The improvement of online facilities such as Distance Buying, Auction Pre-sales (KVV) and the webshop are paying off. Plantion sees a great deal of potential in KVV in particular. Plantion has seen an increase in webshop purchases amongst younger buyers. Revenue from online channels will approach €15 million in 2023, out of an expected total turnover of €102.5 million.
The Plantion board reflected on a number of milestones in 2023, including the opening of Plantion Shop & Go. With this innovative concept, Plantion offers an extensive range of flowers, plants and accessories under one roof, in an attractive setting (the former green centre). Clients can gain inspiration here, buy the products online, and collect them straight away (shop & go), or have them delivered. Plantion presents Shop & Go as a third fully-fledged product flow, in addition to auction and mediation. The initial responses from clients are positive.
Plantion also moved into the newbuild in 2023. The building is the new supply point for products and contributes to a quicker and more efficient logistics process. The space also houses cold stores and boxes that are now largely rented out.
In December, a test was launched with the early delivery of products purchased through KVV. The idea is twofold: clients get their products delivered earlier in the morning and the peak in respect of Plantion distribution after auction is reduced. The intention is to enable early delivery from 2024 for a specific client group that purchases via KVV. We are also considering the option of being able to order more days in advance.
Finally, Plantion also developed a different tariff system this year, which comes into effect on 1 January 2024. The previous system was still based on the old auction concept, with only the auction and mediation. There are now all kinds of intermediate forms and digital options. In order to keep things clear and transparent, the tariffs in the new set-up are linked to Plantion’s three main streams: auction, mediation and Plantion Shop & Go.