A fresh beginning for 2022 Boyd J Douglas-Davies, HTA President
s we draw 2021 to an end let’s hope we are saying goodbye to covid related challenges, and we’ll enter 2022 with a fresh beginning. Whilst it’s direct aﬀects may diminish its impact will be felt for months if not years to come. Much has been reported on the shortage of plastics etc, so it is safe to now take that as a fact rather than an attempt to hike prices. The recent announcement regarding the new level for minimum wage is only just being thought through but it is certain to have a major impact on 2022 and beyond. So how do we absorb these continuous ﬁnancial pressures on all sectors? Moaning about it certainly won’t make a diﬀerence, at best it makes a few people happy, but many more unhappy at having to listen to habitual wingers. Increasing the average basket must be the best thing we can all do, taking more money for the same or less eﬀort will go towards oﬀsetting the labour cost increases. For growers, this means working out how to get more value on a trolley, growing plants with greater eye appeal, a higher consumer proﬁle or simply better plants will go a long way towards increasing the trolley value. Delivery costs will continue to rise so fewer drops means more trollies per drop. Closer relationships with customers will lead to larger orders. The opportunity to have salespeople on the road has been with us for the last few months. Have you worked out how to make the best of the new blended sales world where on-screen and in-person meetings work together? I
how do we absorb these continuous financial pressures on all sectors? Moaning about it certainly won’t make a difference…
remember my early days on the road for Webbs Nurseries, I had a fax machine in the car, how posh! This allowed me to connect electronically with customers throughout the day whilst still visiting others. Teams and Zoom are here to stay so let’s make it part of the new world. For retailers, increasing the basket spend isn’t simply about pushing up prices. This will lead to less items in the transaction and ultimately a smaller spend. Rather the challenge is in curating a range of goods that gently encourage an extra item or two into the basket plus a steadily rising average price point. Combined, these two levers will move the spend up and therefore the return on labour invested. Focusing on sales increases rather than labour hour reduction must be the way to ride through this next round of wage rises. For grower, retailer and manufacturer getting to know each other better than ever before and more importantly, each other’s products, opportunities and strategies must be the focus of this winter. You’d think there would have been a lull in the ﬂow of new products but the quantity and quality on display at GLEE this autumn contradicted that. It’s now the turn of retailers to embrace the work gone into developing these products by creating a buzz in-store before the Spring season kicks oﬀ. Friday 18th March is oﬃcially the launch of Spring 2022 with the 11th Greenﬁngers Garden Re-Leaf Day. Have you got your plans in place to ensure you create a demand & sales for your business whilst raising awareness and funds for the charity? www.greenﬁngerscharity.org.uk/gardenreleaf
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54 November / December 2021