Royal FloraHolland says British will buy more of its flowers in 'turbulent times'

After a visit to the new Covent Garden Flower Market in London, the Dutch auction house said it believed cut flower sales were rising.

It said: "This is due particularly to the currently strengthening economy. There is little effect of Brexit visible, except for the fluctuations in the exchange rate of the pound.

The florists have noted primarily an improvement in the commercial and major events market. Many companies, hotels and catering outlets are again spending money on horticultural products, and the demand for floral subscriptions is increasing according to the dealers. The British want to be cheered up with flowers in this turbulent time of uncertainty, war and attacks."

Royal FloraHolland said the supermarket channel was and would remain the most important sales channel for flowers in the UK, with 47% of consumers buying flowers via that channel. But in the last year this sales channel seemed to have passed its peak, with a shift towards online and the top-segment florist. The online channel in particular had expanded dramatically in the past 5 years, Royal FloraHolland said, from 3% to 13% in 2016. The number of companies offering flowers online had exploded increasing competition, it added.

The auction house adds: "There is still plenty of growth possible in the British market despite the approaching Brexit. British consumers love flowers and will keep buying them even in these turbulent times. Growth is primarily evident in the online segment and the top-segment florist. Consumers are buying more from the online channel, and the demand is increasing for exclusive flowers from florists for the commercial and major events market. Florists are looking for luxurious, exclusive flowers that are unavailable or less likely to be found in the supermarket so they can distinguish themselves from the rest."

Royal FloraHolland said traditionally, the list of the top 10 cut flowers sold in the UK was headed by roses, chrysanthemums, lilies and carnations. In the last two years, however, seasonal flowers like tulips and amaryllis and year-round products like gerbera and lisianthus had become increasingly prominent, it said.

Around 50% to 70% cut flowers are ordered and delivered via the Cash & Carry webshop. This has resulted in fewer florists physically coming to the Cash & Carry.


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