Our business, the Floriculture, is characterized by seasonality and that’s very true. I wonder in what way the sale in the peak season is determined by our influence and in what way, with a different approach; can –substantially- be improved in the "low season".
Talking with colleagues and business partners, worldwide, it seems obvious to reconsider the seasonality and how important is to focus on plants and flowers sales keeping in mind that this is our core business, spring, summer, autumn and winter.
Few years ago, I became interested, due hobby and some friendship relations, in a development project of a Gelato shop chain. Reading the results of the commissioned market research, it was a surprise to read how the consumption of gelato, until a few years ago, was an "exclusive" summer habit. At that point, someone decided to clear this way of thinking by keeping the shops open, all year long. It was a good choice. There was development reaction equal to none: the pro capita consumption of gelato went from 8 pounds in 2007 to 20 pounds in 2012 (in Italy, the Country where I live).
Those entrepreneurs applied a very simple market principle: the availability stimulates the demand.
In our field, the first to slow down after the busy spring, it’s us, we operators and, yes, the market reacts accordingly; that is, goes dead. After the spring, many Growers "empty" the greenhouses and wait to get ready for the fall. For many Growers, from the last sold plant in spring to the first sold in autumn, means three or four months of dead activity. In the winter, the "hibernation" is repeated. For normal Business logics, this period is too long.
Perhaps, this is the reason why the traditional distribution channels, primarily Garden Centers, look after other categories of products to trade with, other than plants and flowers, in order to stay online with the Consumers increasingly interested in Gardening.
In May, I attended an international convention that had as its focus on the forecasted evolution of the market from 2015 to 2020. A study on Consumers, on a global scale, highlighted that there are three sectors with strong potential growth over the next 5 years:
To know that our sector is projected to growth should be a stimulation for the whole Floriculture business.
I visited Growers and, listening to them, it is clear that despite the end of the spring, the sales must continue and I found confident that if they had more plants available it would be a huge benefit for a continuous income. Treat a perishable product is risky and programming in the production must take into account many aspects. Tackle the off season time with positivity, is crucial.
The low season is not synonymous to dead season, focusing on sales, in those months and with a full range of products, induces the demands.
To conclude, with a provocative joke, we have two alternatives: either we keep us to Gelataio in summer alone or we stimulate your Majesty the Consumer to buy all year around.
What do you think is best?