J.M Pitarque, Aliat:

Spain: "Sales during this spring campaign are recorded in gardening centers"

More sales in gardening centers, more interest in plants and flowers and a consumer who knows better what he wants to buy. The pandemic has generated a real change in the ornamental market that this spring is leaving very positive figures after a very difficult year. in addition, professionals in the sector such as Josep María Pitarque, co-founder of the purchasing center Aliat, don't hesitate to talk about extraordinary sales.

“Although in the current context it may seem strange, sales during this spring campaign are record-breaking. There has been massive customer support to gardening centers that are generating a lot of hustle and bustle in the sector", Pitarque explains, who adds however that "no one has had time to celebrate". "Gardening centers are too busy trying to meet the demand of their customers and plant producers and garden accessories suppliers do not supply all the products that are asked for by the points of sale. Let's hope this trend is definitely consolidated". These good feelings in the domestic market indicate that they move sales to other countries, well, "we are told by some producers that, lately, there has been an upward trend in exports that has led to an increase in sales on the Community market, both outdoor plant, indoors and even trees and shrubs".

Home became entertainment space
How do you explain this trend change? At Aliat they are clear and claim that "during the pandemic, many consumers made their home, their entertainment space, workplace, relaxing. And that has incised certain changes in their habits." And they add a very interesting reflection: "Now customers go to the garden center to buy, before, the user came with the whole family and invested a lot of time in the purchase process. instead, in the wake of the Covid-19, the visit is much more thoughtful and brief and the average ticket has increased. This shows that the customer will buy what they need and that they do not invest more time than necessary, and, although sales are very concentrated on weekends, there has been a significant increase in customers during the working days, has forced some garden centers to increase their staff to meet this growing demand".

Pitarque adds that "everything to do with home improvement has experienced an avalanche of demand. And that has been an important boost for the gardening sector". “Green is fashionable!”, exclaims to the point that "more and more homes are consuming more gardening products and we are increasingly aware of the importance of green spaces. All has led to the eruption of a lot of new and young customers, who didn't buy gardening items before. There has also been a marked increase in the consumption of items related to urban garden and the cultivation of vegetables at home".

Regarding the months ahead, in Aliat they want everything to return to normal as soon as possible "so that we could recover events that served us to relate to all the members of the great Aliat family that lately we have not been able to celebrate". "Above all, our internal fair, the trip we make to a European country to learn about its main gardens and, how not, Iberflora, where this 2021 we'll reassemble a garden center for the seventh year in a row”.

Regarding Iberflora, "absolutely convinced that by early October the health situation will have improved and that the organization will offer the maximum guarantees of safety and hygiene to all participants".

"Iberflora is the reference fair, an inescapable appointment for all actors in the green sector. and this edition of 2021, that of their 'golden weddings', will be one of the most special in its history because, after last year's stop, will come back stronger than ever”. "We are fed up with so many virtual meetings and social distancing. We need Iberflora back to re-relate, strengthen the bond between exhibitors and visitors, regain the warmth of personal treatment, establish new contacts... and, among all, to be able to give a new impetus to the gardening sector in Spain".

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