The national media is full of panicked headlines about price rises and shortages across the retail sector. However, one leading lawncare supplier has been working hard behind the scenes to ensure a smooth supply of product for its customers.
Johnsons Lawn Seed, the UK’s oldest lawn seed brand and part of the DLF Seeds family, has been planning for Brexit for well over a year in order to get ahead of the changes that came into effect on January 1, 2021 and go into the New Year on a strong footing. Whilst some business have been caught out by what has been described as the ‘Brexit shock’, Johnsons Lawn Seed and its staff have been working around the clock to limit the impact these challenges have on its supply chain and meet the anticipated uptake in demand during the peak lawncare season.
Pre-season orders have seen an exponential increase throughout autumn and winter, which is great news for business but has put added pressure on the supply chain. Fortunately, Johnsons had the foresight to get stock in place at the right time to mitigate any potential disruption, meaning retail customers can still depend on a smooth supply of product and the high level of service they have come to expect.
Johnsons Lawn Seed’s Guy Jenkins said: “We have been preparing for Brexit for the past 18 months, at least. It was important for us to get ahead of the game, so there would be minimal disruption for our retail customers in the UK. We know their main concerns are over delays at port and increased freight charges, despite an agreement with the EU. So, to counteract this, we used our transport links across Europe to bring raw materials in through less overcrowded ports and we stocked up early.”
He continued: “All of our EU customers are now stocked and ready for the peak spring season and, in the UK, we have substantially increased our stock holdings across the Johnsons and Neudorff ranges to ensure continuity of supply for pre-season and for the arrival of spring. We have already adapted to the new inbound customs regime, utilising the skills DLF possess as a global seed supplier and with the co-operation of our suppliers.”
Guy further praised Johnsons’ employees for their hard work during this busy time and paid a special tribute to the company’s production team. “We extended our hours to pack lawn seed at the equivalent of seven days a week and brought in extra raw materials to help us continue to spring and beyond. It’s been a lot of work and we couldn’t possibly have achieved what we have without our committed team of colleagues. Genuinely, they have been outstanding!”
The heightened demand this winter comes hot on the heels of a five-fold increase in sales of lawn seed in 2020. Last year’s lockdown cultivated an army of new gardeners, as the Great British public took to their outdoor spaces with gusto. This trend, coupled with a particularly dry spring, sent lawn seed sales through the roof and extended the traditional springtime peak in the category well into the summer.
Johnsons earned a host of new customers, due to its ability to maintain a reliable supply of product throughout, where other suppliers struggled. Guy explained: “So far pre-season sales are running at four times the usual levels. This is owing to a combination of larger pre-season orders and an earlier uptake to ensure supply for the spring. The increase is across all of our products and, whilst clearly some of this is just timing, we have definitely gained new customers too; based on our record of successful supply last year.”
Johnsons Lawn Seed, which celebrated its 200th anniversary in 2020, is committed to supporting its garden centre customers and says its enhanced stock levels and extensive distribution network will help garden centres to drive footfall in lawncare categories this spring and throughout 2021. Meanwhile, Johnsons’ agents are making a concerted effort to work closely with garden centre teams to provide extra support with in-store merchandising and helping to beat the rush with early ordering.
The lawncare expert’s innovation-driven, market-leading portfolio includes Quick Lawn with Accelerator-treated seed, Tuffgrass with Dog Patch Resistance and 100% organic Super Smart Lawn Feed, as well as top-selling lawn seed mixes such as Shady Place, Luxury Lawn, After Moss, Quick Fix and Lawn Thickener Lawn Seed.
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To find out more about Johnsons Lawn Seed products please visit http://www.johnsonslawnseed.com/product-range.aspx