It looks as though June garden centre sales are an average +50% up on last year excluding restaurants. That has been very hard work for garden centre teams and their suppliers. It seems they rose to the challenge.
Our team has been unbelievable
“The Hillier team have the ability to adapt to whatever challenge is put in front of them,” says MD Chris Francis. “They have all been amazing. The old saying ‘when the going gets tough the tough get going’ very much applies to the way our whole team got stuck in.”
“Our team has been unbelievable,” said Adam Wigglesworth of Aylett Nurseries. “We split them into blue and orange teams doing 5 days on and 5 days off. They did 4,500 deliveries and turned the stock into cash during lockdown.”
A small plant oriented garden centre in the W. Midlands, who kept all staff on during the shut-down, said without their dedication it could not have been done. “They took it upon themselves not to socialise so they could continue working. Sales were up 100% in June.”
“As we finish the second quarter of 2020 the main thing the team need is a bit of a break.” David Little of Poplars explained. “Every day has been like a weekend day or a bank holiday and the team are shattered. A cool pint and a haircut are a priority!”
Somehow they got stock to us
He added praise for his suppliers. “Can I give praise to our supply chain who have been under incredible pressure this season… Somehow they got stock to us.
“No-one put their prices up without good reason. No-one got awkward when we took a competitor’s product because of shortages from our regular suppliers. They just got their heads down and turned those orders around as fast as they could using the resources they had. I know they ran out of lorries, loaders, packaging, drivers, boxes, cartons and bottles. Nearly all told us what to expect and very few made promises they could not keep.”
Cash is strong Year to date
If restaurants are taken out of the comparisons, it seems most garden centres are within a few percentage points of last year’s sales, despite losing 8 weeks to the lockdown. Because restaurants have been closed, total revenues are down about 20 – 25%.
However, costs are down as well, because of Furlough and other Government schemes. This means that garden centres are in a strong cash position. One garden centre group said, cash is strong and all suppliers are paid up to date.
These comments reflect what many have said. Add praise for your team with a comment below.