2019 literally means a fresh start for the GASA Group. This international trading company started off the year in a brand new HQ in Odense, Denmark. "We are investing in the future as our goal is to be one of the leading European suppliers of floral solutions", says Daniél Vesterlund, Group CCO.
Building stronger relationships
The new building has several advantages compared to the old building, and according to Vesterlund it offers them the possibility to build stronger relationships with clients and suppliers. "If we didn’t believe that GASA Group will be a strong player in the European flower and plant business in the future, we would not have taken this big step. The strategy of the company is to build strong partnerships with clients as well as suppliers in order to make our set-up unique and valuable for all parties. I believe we have created even better possibilities to fulfill this goal, thanks to our new headquarters."
Old vs new building
So, what are the advantages of the new building over the previous location? "First of all, the former building was old - it was built in 1964 - and was not only dedicated to moving flowers and plants, it was also designed to move fruit and vegetables. It had several terminals build together, and was located in the middle of the city."
The search for a new HQ led them to a site in Odense near the highway. After having sold the old building, they started construction of the new building in January. The employees gradually moved in November, and by December all 200 people had found their spot in the new headquarters.
Besides the location, next to the highway, an important plus of the new building is that it is dedicated to flowers and plants only. "It is designed for our purposes and today's standard. It has a total area of 21,050 square meters, and the heart of the building is a large terminal – 11,250 square meters with 43 gates, 6,200 square meters of storage and an outside storage for CC-containers", he says. Next to this is the specially designed 3,600 square meter office building, where the administration, financial department and sales department has moved into.
How was 2018?
The new headquarters kicks off 2019 with a fresh start for the company, but what about the past year? Vesterlund summarizes 2018 as a challenging year. "Until April, it was very cold, and from April to October, we had the hot and long summer. Both meant lower demand for flowers and plants."
The final festive time of the year, Christmas, was also challenging . "We are satisfied with the month of December, but the day sales were not as high as hoped for." Interestingly, the Danish poinsettias were sold out early this year. "Growers are increasingly adjusting their production to the market demand and planned orders, poinsettia growers too. It bore fruits and the prices were satisfying."
Growing over the years
GASA Group supplies retailers, wholesalers, and garden centers all over Europe, and over the last 5 years, they have increased their assortment. "I think our advantage in the market is that we can supply a full European solution with directly from the growers with our strong logistic and sales platforms in Denmark, Holland, Germany and Poland. GASA is also still growing in products sourced from Italy and Spain. These sourcing markets have become increasingly important markets to us. We see that the season for products sourced in these countries is getting longer. Olive trees, for instance, are already selling in February - in the past this didn't occur until May."
This year, GASA Group will again attend the IPM Essen in Essen, Germany. The show will be held from January 22-25 and the team of GASA Group can be visited in the Danish hall (hall 6) at stand number 6H28.