The Polish sector for ornamental flowers and plants is visibly recovering after the corona crisis and is looking positive in the future.
Trade nightmare in March and April
The last profitable day before the corona crisis started, was for the floristry sector Women’s Day, celebrated on the 8th of March in several countries in the Eastern Europe. A week later, on a very popular name day of Bożena and Krystyna in Poland, almost 80% of the flower shops were already closed (with significant amount of flowers inside bought to be sold for the name day). Intensive lockdown took almost 4 weeks in Poland and was loosened for the Easter Holidays. In that time all wholesale markets remained open, nevertheless there was almost no trade and no florists interested in buying flowers.
Now it seems that the developments on the Polish market are similar with the Dutch market for ornamental plants and cut flowers.
The lack of international flights, problems on borders and psychological fear caused the lack of supply of flowers from abroad on the Polish market. This gap was taken over by the local flower producers who after the first bad weeks noted a huge increase in orders and sales. At this moment the price of the Polish rose is higher than in previous years and the demand is rising. It is caused by the limited import of those flowers from African countries and availability of the product on the market. It seems also that at least now local production can take sales of their product for granted as importers are still hesitant with bringing roses from Africa on the Polish market. But also other flowers are doing fine: prices and demand for gladiolus, lisanthus or gerbera haven’t been better since years. Producers who were initially afraid how to survive the year and opened additional sales point on their premises or online just to sell anything are now lacking flowers themselves. This positive trend didn’t however cover the losses caused by the virus in early Spring.
If flower producers are satisfied with the current situation on the market, producers of potted ornamental plants should be extremely happy: some of them, who managed to cancel their orders for propagation material are now lacking material for sales. Those cancellations caused limited supply of plants on the market. Together with the fact that Poles locked at their homes decided to decorate their balconies and terraces with colorful plants caused increased demand for ornamental plants and rising prices of green commodities.
Poles intend to spend their holidays in the country and are looking for a nice place far from other people not to get infected with corona. Next to that the interest for all kinds of deposits are getting lower and lower, so Poles who are looking for safe investments are buying pieces of land. This trend is visible on the national level and caused already rising prices of land in Poland. But the owners of the just purchased land also want to surround themselves with plants and often invest in ornamentals even before they start with a project of a summer house. Therefore this season also many flower shops decided to sell next to cut flowers also potted compositions and potted ornamental plants in amounts that weren’t noted before.
Coming back to normal and reopening of the economy resulted in more events like weddings and first Holy Communion and increased the demand for white flowers used for those occasions. It also gave a boost to all florists having their own atelier and working based on a contract.
Re-opening of food service industry was also immediately visible at the wholesale market.
E-commerce is rising
The biggest winners are producers and florists who decided to work online during the pandemic. It seems e-commerce will become a new sales channel that works not only in the crisis but becomes a new way of selling flowers and plants to customers. Many producers who in the most difficult weeks couldn’t count on payments from not realized orders made by the wholesalers or retail channels looked actively for the end clients online. This diversification seems to be profitable as many of them decided to keep the delivery and invest in online selling via social media like Facebook (the most popular channel in Poland).
First two weeks of July are usually a bad selling period in Poland due to holiday season. Normally many flower shops are closed at this time, this year however the majority stayed open and try to catch up losses from early Spring.