The Chinese New Year is approaching, and it is currently the peak season for annual flower sales. However, affected by the epidemic this year, the municipal and township levels in Dongguan City successively announced the cancellation of the annual winter flower market. The reporter learned from the local flower farms and shops in Dongguan that the flowers for the Chinese New Year sales so far are only 20% last year due to the cancellation of the winter flower market. The price of these flowers dropped slightly compared to last year. Among them, the price of phalaenopsis dropped by 20-30%. Many growers in Dongguan actively respond to the actual situation and are adopting various measures to increase sales through spreading the sales channels. To this end, the relevant departments of Guangdong Province and Dongguan City have also organized coordination meetings to prepare to transfer the flower market online.
Flower growers' sales plummeted by only 20%
In the local Phalaenopsis Garden in Dongguan City, phalaenopsis in different colors are blooming beautifully. However, these flowers still waiting for sale make the flower growers worry.
"Now only 20% is sold. At this time last year, it was around 70% to 80%." Mr. Yang, the owner of the Phalaenopsis Garden in Houjie Town, told the reporter that due to the epidemic, the winter flower market was canceled and the purchase volume of phalaenopsis wholesale merchants dropped sharply. Mr. Yang said that his farm mainly cultivates and sells various kinds of phalaenopsis. This year, there are a total of 60,000 phalaenopsis of A-grade quality in various colors for sale. The best climate and technology for the growth of each orchid is different. The cultivation of this batch of phalaenopsis began at the end of 2019. The introduction of flower seedlings, cultivation, watering, fertilizing, maintenance, etc., spent a whole year of great effort, spending a lot of manpower, material resources, rent, and other expenditures. Now, it’s finally the time of flowers blooming and harvest, but the impact of the epidemic continues. "Last year, I was trembling in my heart, I thought the epidemic would pass soon, but I did not expect it will last this long."
In the face of difficulties, Mr. Yang did not complain further. Mr. Yang said that since New Year's Day this year, he has started to expand channels, not only to wholesalers, but also to actively promote sales to retail customers. For retail customers, the growers will decrease the price and sell customers at roughly the same price as wholesalers. "The medium-sized bouquet phalaenopsis we are selling now cost about 25-30 RMB per plant in wholesale." At the same time, he also mobilized shop owners with business contacts to carry out sales through group purchasing in different communities.
Mr. Yang introduced that in order to open up sales, he also conducts online sales. Mr. Yang said that although the effect of online sales is difficult to determine at this stage, "in any case, sell this year's flowers first." Many insiders in the industry said that the risks of selling flowers for the Chinese New Year online are the short logistics cycle requirements and the willingness of logistics companies to receive orders for flower transportation which has higher requirements and standards than bulk goods. "Customers have very high requirements and expectations for the quality of flowers. Flowers are easy to get damaged during transportation, and there are so many branches. It is troublesome to pack, and it is not cost-effective to find logistics and transportation."
The price of phalaenopsis for Chinese New Year cut by 20 to 30%
According to the preliminary statistics of the Dongguan Flower Association, there is currently about 330,000 phalaenopsis in Dongguan for sale, and about 1 million other flowers or potted flowers are also waiting for customers. Many flower growers in Dongguan revealed that up to now, the actual amount of phalaenopsis, and other flowers for sale is more than the number above.
In order to deal with the impact of the epidemic, the reporter learned that the price of ordinary phalaenopsis this year has dropped by 20 to 30% year-on-year. Last year, a common variety of phalaenopsis was sold for 30 RMB, and now you can buy it for just 20 RMB. According to a floral shop owner in Dongguan, affected by the epidemic, flowers cannot be exported this year. Flower growers can only sell these flowers at low prices. The overall price of these flowers has dropped this year. Some insiders in the industry do not agree with the method of lowering prices for a better quantity, believing that it will affect the price of flowers in the coming year.
Preparation for the digital flower market and initiate online shopping
Facing the unfavorable situation of the flower market, the reporter learned from the Guangdong Provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Affairs that the Guangdong Provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Affairs recently held a coordination meeting to prepare to move the flower market online. According to incomplete statistics, starting from January 7th, many places in Guangdong Province have successively announced the cancellation of the 2021 winter flower market, including Shenzhen City, Zhuhai City, and other major districts and cities. Shenzhen City changed to use streets as units and set up decentralized flower shopping centers, while other cities encouraged online flower purchases and customized delivery services.
For Dongguan City, the reporter learned from the Dongguan Epidemic Prevention and Control Department on the 19th that according to the latest notice issued, it called for the holding of traditional folk activities to be simplified during the Chinese New Year season. Among them, the city and town levels will not hold the 2021 Winter Flower Market in a centralized manner. Villages (communities) with conditions can set up Chinese New Year flower shopping points to facilitate the citizens to buy flowers nearby. It is recommended that the majority of merchants provide the customers with seasonal flowers through online sales and door-to-door delivery.