Retailers perspective:

US: "It’s been a very bumpy ride, but we are on the positive side now"

It’s been a very bumpy ride for floral, which IRI data confirms, but we are on the positive side now. Though sales took a significant hit early in the pandemic, Mother’s Day seems to be the turning point as sales have risen over and above last year and that trend is projected to continue. This was shared at the PMA Floral Town hall on July 15, where members of the fresh floral supply chain connected in a virtual roundtable to look at demand across the pandemic timeline and predictions for the future. Below the comments shared by retailers.

No going back to the 'old' normal
Many retailers had to shift strategies to meet the new consumer demands and behaviors. According to them, there is no going back to the “old” normal. Weekend sales are picking up after a drop, but weekday sales are holding strong as well, they say.

Adjustments
Covid-19 has had significant impact and has forced retailers to change/adjust: product lines, price points, online purchasing direction, meeting demands for new shopping patterns. They’ve seen significant growth in: Home decor, potted plants, foliage and balloons. This, too, has led to shifts in product offerings. All in all, they notice that value items are popular. 

Different celebrations
Celebrations continue, but they are different, retailers say. "People are looking for reasons to celebrate, and floral is a great fit for milestone or everyday celebrations."

Social media
Retailers see huge opportunities to grow demand and connect with consumers through social media.

Self care is rising
More people working from home is driving plant sales as consumers strive for a healthy and happy work environment at home. This also spurs home decor sales and bouquets. "Floral does bring happiness, and shoppers want that."

E-commerce is here to stay
Retailers must consider how to create the impulse sale online, as e-commerce is here to stay. According to the retailers, sales will be especially important over the next six to nine months.

After the presentations of the different retailers, the group of more than 60 floral professionals broke into four discussion groups. From these discussion groups the following came out of the discussion:

Social media is key and suppliers can help with top-quality images. Suggesting ideas through social channels can help drive both shoppers’ imaginations and sales. Helping shoppers with ideas builds their confidence in using these products at at-home DIY continues to grow.

Retailers must pay close attention to consumer trends, which may vary by area, and share this with suppliers to develop supply-chain-wide solutions. This will be especially important moving into end-of-year holidays.

Sales of garden and foliage products have exploded, and potted foliage and succulent sales have been strong. As we move into fall, lawn-type products will give way to more indoor items.

Grab-and-go for bouquets is important.

Having items in lower price points is key, as are hardy items that last.

Labor continues to be an issue that most retailers and suppliers are working to resolve.

For more information
Produce Marketing Association
www.pma.com


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