Back to Retail – Garden Center Magazine
Photo courtesy of Klein
Flowers and Greenhouses
Garden centers report steady Valentine’s Day sales this year as the Omicron wave continues to decline in the United States. Also, in-person purchases appear to be higher compared to the previous two years.
Forecast data from the National Retail Federation’s 2022 Valentine’s Day Spending Survey estimates total sales at $23.9 billion, with 37% of consumers planning to buy flowers in 2020, according to the survey’s gift trends. That figure fell by 1% in 2021, but has fallen back by a percentage point this year, according to the data.
Shoppers have money to spend this Valentine’s Day, and as always, flowers (and other plants) are at the top of the list, as shoppers head to garden centers in search of gifts. garden center The magazine interviewed three retailers to find out which trends and insights are shaping this year’s holiday season.
While rose and other supply chain shortages are expected to hit the industry hard, Sue Klein, owner of Klein’s Floral & Greenhouses in Madison, Wisconsin, said her business is going well.
“We were a little worried that we wouldn’t get our vases on time, but in the end we got everything we wanted. Same with some flowers. We were lucky that we could use and rely on three different suppliers, so if one of the Not available, usually available from another,” she said.
Kara Prebish, flower manager at Breezewood Garden & Gifts in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, said her IGC hasn’t experienced any serious shortages, but flower prices are much higher this year.
According to Prebish, cut flowers are not hard to come by. They are just expensive. However, she said Breezewood was not selling at market value, despite the price hike being much higher than usual.
“Our dozen roses were supposed to be around $165 (including a vase), but we didn’t mark up the full price. We just met somewhere in the middle, so we could help them and still make a profit,” says Prebish .
She also said sourcing of glassware and Oasis Floral Foam was more complicated than usual, but luckily Breezewood had stocked up for Valentine’s Day over Christmas.
Jill Barczak, operations manager at Blumen Gardens in Sycamore, Illinois, said they experienced delays in shipments ahead of the holidays, but nothing too extreme. Blumen Gardens doesn’t sell cut flowers, but they do offer succulents and houseplant arrangements for Valentine’s Day.
“It’s not crazy, but everything that was supposed to arrive in the first week of February arrived around the fifth or seventh. So, some things are a little late, but we’ve had so many shipments before, which is good,” she said. Say.
Photo courtesy of Blumen Gardens
All three garden centres noted steady foot traffic throughout the weekend and the holiday itself. Considering Valentine’s Day is the Monday after the Super Bowl, Prebish said Monday was a busy practice day.
“People didn’t fully think about Valentine’s Day in advance. They had planned a Super Bowl party,” she said with a laugh. “I think they all woke up the next morning and said, ‘Oh, I’m in trouble!'”
Prebish also observed a slight drop in deliveries of around 10-12 orders and a slight rise in pickup orders, which she attributes to last-minute planning by customers.
Klein said it was helpful that the holidays were on Mondays this year, as their IGC had done a lot of prep work over the weekend. Also, the weather above zero helps.
“I don’t remember what the exact temperature was, but I would say it was in the teens and February was not bad for Wisconsin! It’s funny – I always laugh at Valentine’s Day every year It’s the same day, but every year it seems like people have to wait until the last minute or forget. But on Sunday we have a lot of traffic,” Klein said.
For Breezewood, the past two years have seen the biggest Valentine’s Day sales. While sales are at breakeven this year, different categories are more popular. Last year, vases and flower arrangements were more popular than wraps, and last year it was the opposite, she said.
“I feel like people are starting to get out of their comfort zone and go out and do things again. The last two years have been a lot of flower giving,” she said. “Now I think people are starting to recover from that and they’re going into stores again, going into garden centres and florists. They want to really see what’s out there now.”
A much slower start to the year than in 2021 for Blumen Gardens has raised some concerns. Fortunately, Valentine’s Day sales were impressive, she said. Klein’s sales were up 52% compared to last year, but Klein said it came down to two main factors: weather and day of the week.
“You have to remember that last year was Sunday, and it was probably the worst day of the week for florists. We also had a -30-windchill,” she said.
Photo courtesy of Blumen Gardens
For Breezewood and Klein’s, mixed flower and rose bouquets have been Valentine’s Day bestsellers.
“We don’t know if it’s because of the price of the roses, but mixed bouquets have been very, very popular this year. They’re a bestseller in the flower department,” Klein said.
While Blumen Gardens is known for its houseplants and succulent arrangements, Barczak said they also offered a few different Valentine’s Day offerings this year, which proved successful. Pre-made cards containing chocolate bars are in vogue, with pink and red flower pots engraved with phrases like “You Grow Girl” and “Plant Lady.”
“That light boho pink is really trending right now. We sell a lot of these pots that might not be Valentine-specific, but are more of a trendy pink and red,” says Barczak.
While Valentine’s Day shoppers have traditionally been men buying flowers for their partners, 2022 has sparked a new trend: gift-giving among friends and family.
Barczak recalled the case of a customer whose arms were full of bags. “I only buy a little for my five girlfriends, and I buy one for myself,” the customer said.
“I do see that this year everyone needs a little spark of joy and just wants to give a little gift to a friend. You know, just a little gift – nothing crazy, no breaking the bank – just an ‘I’m thinking of you’ ‘The gift we love to see,’ she said. “I definitely think it’s more of a grandparent or girl friend or something. So, I think it’s a little less romantic and a little more gift-giving.”
In Breezewood, Prebish noticed more and more young people were buying flowers for their wives and little things for their daughters.
“So, they’ll make a dozen roses for their wives, and then they’ll get a little $25 package for their daughter or something,” she said.
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