The abrupt closure and reopening of garden centres have not only been a challenge for the growers, they have also been for companies supplying the industry. German plastic pot and tray manufacturer Pöppelmann Teku for example tells us how they were and still are dealing with the negative impact of the pandemic on their sales of their products. And on top of dealing with this and implementing all hygienic preventive measures at the company at the same time, they developed mouth-nose covers within just a few weeks.
Mouth-nose cover “FaireMasken” by Pöppelmann
At Pöppelmann, actions were taken very early and it seems to have worked in their advantage. "It enabled us to maintain operations to the extent our customers needed and first and foremost all preventive measures that we've implemented throughout the company have resulted in us being spared a wave of infections."
Developing mouth-nose covers
At the same time, in the midst of the pandemic, they even developed mouth-nose covers within a few weeks. "Our teams at Pöppelmann developed a cost-effective, reusable and disinfectable mouth-nose cover for the European customers, which are available in our web shop (www.fairemasken.de). We are very proud of this achievement as it really demonstrates the flexibility and innovative strength of our employees."
Even though with these achievements, Pöppelmann's business, like many others in the industry, is still severely impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. "The pandemic has had and continues to have a significant negative impact on the sales of our products. Our customers in other European and non-European countries, e.g. in North America, Great Britain, Spain or Italy - all countries where the pandemic is taking a rather severe course - continue to have great difficulties, especially because sales have come to a complete standstill due to curfews and contact restrictions. Plant dealers and growers had to destroy millions of Euros worth of goods because of the sales ban. The negative effects on the horticultural sector in Germany and the Netherlands remained comparatively moderate. Initially, garden centres and DIY stores had to keep their doors closed in many regions. Probably also due to the realisation that gardening and the joy of handling plants has a stabilising and strengthening effect, especially in difficult times like these, these sales channels have been reopened in the meantime and people, many of whom are still at home, can enjoy their garden now and in the coming months."
Keeping up with the orders
As garden centres are opening their doors, orders are picking up again, but keeping up with the orders results in the next challenge. "The postponement of sales volumes, e.g. short-term cancellations, postponements or now again unplanned additional orders are a further challenge for our organisation. But with the support of our customers and a well-coordinated, joint planning of sales quantities, we are looking positively to the coming weeks and months."