“Demand was very strong for our orchids, partly this is due to production volumes in the Netherlands starting to reduce, but also there looks to be some shift from cut flowers to flowering plants,” says Andy Burton of Double H Nurseries when looking back at UK Mother’s Day, which fell on March 19 this year. For this British wholesale plant nursery in New Milton, this event is the biggest seasonal peak of the year.
Andy Burton in the greenhouse.
A year of planning and preparation
It takes them a year of planning and preparation to deliver a successful Mother’s Day. “So it is a big focus for everyone here at Double H,” Burton says. They work with retailers to plan volumes and phasing for the Mother’s Day period. “In this way, we can prepare plants, packaging, people, transport, etc. Of course, these plans change a bit as we get into the period and start to see how consumers are behaving, but the key is constant communication with retailers to adapt and respond to this.”
9cm phalaenopsis most popular
Within their orchids, their 9cm phalaenopsis was the most popular. “It is a trend that has been building for several years now. And the lower energy and transport costs make these smaller plants really good value, which I’m sure drives the demand for them.”
E-commerce is still a big growth area for Double H, and this year they fulfilled far more Mother’s Day orders than they have done in previous years, Burton says. “We have invested in our systems and processes to support this growth and were really pleased with how well it went this year.”
When talking about challenges, Burton says that there were far less challenges this year compared to the last three years “No covid, no labor shortages, no shipping delays, and no surprise inflation, so overall it was positive.”
Mother’s Day results
The financial results are not in yet, but from an operational perspective, Burton is happy with how it went. “I hope we will have achieved our forecast.”
Efficiency improvements, product development to mitigate inflation
The next holiday is Easter, which is around the corner, and then they go into summer, a good time for them to look ahead and plan for next winter. “We are still working really hard on efficiency improvements and product development so that we can mitigate inflation while also delivering great quality and service to our customers. Inflation hasn’t stopped, so we need to stay focused to avoid falling back behind the curve, which is what happened to us last year.”
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Double H Nurseries