Horticulture Week Podcast: SOLEX director Gina Hinde on the outdoor living market and highlights from SOLEX 2022

This week director of garden products show SOLEX Gina Hinde tells us what we can expect from the show and how the industry is dealing with inflation, oversupply, and setting prices.

Numbers for SOLEX are at similar levels to 2019, SOLEX’s last in-person exhibition and this year features include a BBQ masterclass with Marcus Bawdon who will be joined by a masterchef.

Speaking on some of the issues facing the industry, Hinde tells HortWeek senior reporter Rachael Forsyth:

"Off the back of the unprecedented demand and supply shortages that we saw last year, retailers purchased much greater volumes of stock earlier than they’ve ever before.

So there are a lot of factors that caused this issue: so you’ve got spiralling inflation, the war in Ukraine, the resurgence of overseas travel and the consistently poor weather have all combined to curb the demand back to the 2019 levels which have resulted in an abundance of stock held in stores and obviously held by our members.

"As stores are now sat on so much stock, they are very nervous about putting on large orders for the 2023 season and may opt to pull from suppliers’ stock instead of their own which means that the forecasting for next year is going to be a bit difficult and becomes a bit of a gamble on how much to manufacture.

And, she says, inflation and prices are "still in a state of flux because of the price of containers, the shipping costs, the increased raw materials costs, there’s production costs, the unstable conversion rates and obviously the high fuel prices, and it's making very difficult for our members to set any firm prices and as a result there the vast majority have been left with no choice but to either increase product costs or apply surcharges which means retailers have responded by adjusting their in store  prices accordingly as well." 

Presenter: HortWeek senior report Rachael Forsyth
Producer: HortWeek digital content manager Christina Taylor

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