The plant mail order business continues to grow in terms of order numbers, average order value and profitability. The number of mail order orders year on year increased by 33 per cent and 28 per cent by value. The landscaping department and retail sales from the nursery itself have also produced a good result.
Ten years ago, in 2005 to 2006, Burncoose had 3,700 mail order customers in the year of whom only 36 per cent ordered online rather than by post or telephone. Today the figure is approaching 15,000 annual customers of whom 80 per cent are now ordering online.
The Burncoose Nurseries website attracted almost a million visitors. The company has annual exhibits at Chelsea and Hampton Court flower shows.
Burncoose said: "As garden centres continue to offer a limited and often identical range of commoner plants, there are opportunities for Burncoose to enable its customers to purchase from a much wider choice of over 4,000 ornamental trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants many of which are rare and unusual. Unlike many of our competitors our plants are in 1.5 to 3 litre or larger pots and ready to plant in your garden rather than being plant plugs or 7cm pot liners.
"With improved packing techniques and custom made delivery boxes there is no longer a perceived worry about ordering by mail order and receiving speedy delivery of plants by overnight couriers."
Viburnum plicatum ‘Kilimanjaro Sunrise’ which was voted ‘RHS Plant of the Year’ on the Burncoose stand at Chelsea 2015 continues to be a best seller by mail order. Over 1,500 plants have left the nursery in the last year.
Charles Williams, senior partner of Burncoose Nurseries, said: Another hugely successful year for Burncoose capped by another gold medal at the Chelsea Flower Show. We now need to think hard about how to develop and expand our packing sheds to cope with the extra volume of orders. This may well need to involve outside investors."