26 October 2021

The world has changed a lot since the outbreak of Covid-19 in March 2020. Garden centres worldwide were forced to close during lockdowns, online sales of garden furniture, tools and plants exploded. In the meantime, trends started before Covid-19 accelerated: local shops, bio-friendly plants and sustainability are only getting more popular. Garden Centres are at the epicentre of this, ticking all the boxes.

We at Garden Connect saw many garden centres adapting to this new reality, and to the new challenges that came with it. We would like to help understand which impact Covid-19 has on your online and offline sales and show you the most important trends within the garden retail industry. To do this, we compiled this State of the Industry Update to close off 2021.

You can download the full State of the Industry Update report on our website but we’ll also highlight some important trends below.

The rise of online plant sales

Before Covid-19, online plant sales remained pretty marginal. Only a few webshops were focussing on selling plants online and the overall market share of online vs offline remained very low. However, Covid-19 had a huge impact on plant sales: 27% of the British consumers ordered plants online during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Research of the HTA and Auburn University showed consumers will keep buying plants online post-Covid-19.

Where is my food coming from?

Over the last 5 years, growing your own has been an ever-growing trend. As a counter-trend of globalisation, more and more consumers are looking for local food production. They shift away from mass production with long supply chains, often sold in supermarkets. The farm stores in UK garden centres have been successful in targeting these consumers but the number of people growing their own edible plants has been growing as well.

According to the HTA, a whopping 3.2 million consumers started growing their own fruits, veggies or herbs in 2020. In the Netherlands a similar trend started a few years ago when growing produce was boosted via campaigns focused on children: kids convinced their parents to start growing their own fruits & veggies. This resulted in an uptick in sales of everything related to growing your own: from seeds to small greenhouses.

The social houseplant

Instagram and Pinterest could have been invented by the garden industry since the houseplant is a star on social media. The trend only accelerated during Covid-19 since people had to work from home and were looking for ways to create a better home office. Smart garden centres created special “home office plant boxes” sold to consumers directly or distributed via employers.

The number of search queries for houseplants on Google skyrocketed in the last 5 years:

Buying plants online is getting more common and we don’t see a decrease in online demands going into 2022.

State of the Industry Update 2021

Are you interested to learn more? Then download our State of the Industry 2021 Update. It’s free and includes more facts & figures including:

●      Garden centre website benchmarks

●      Brand popularity

●      Popular search queries

●      ... and more

You can download the free full report on our website now.

State of the Industry Update 2021
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