Posted by Callum VP, on July 27, 2020.
When we vacated our offices and packed up our cars with everything we needed to set-up temporary homebased work stations back in March, we thought they’d be more temporary than it’s turned out. I remember saying to one of my colleagues before we left the office on 16th March; “I think it could be the end of April before we get back in here”. They didn’t believe me at the time! They thought, surely not, that’s more than 6 weeks away. Well, as I write this at the start of June, it’s now been 12 weeks since we left the office in favour of “temporary” home working.
Another thing we didn’t predict, was the effect that ‘lockdown’ would have on our sales of Garden products.
As all other parts of our business took a turn for the worst, with construction sites closing one after another and phoning us to put orders for stormwater tanks, wastewater treatment plants and rainwater harvesting systems on hold, our Garden product sales took off in the exact opposite direction. Yes, just as the RHS reported back in mid-April; “website views on “how to compost” were up 500% in the first nine days of lockdown” and our sales of compost bins rose accordingly. It’s been crazy! I hope you’ve been in a position to serve more customers during their time of lockdown, spent greatly in their gardens.
And for clarity, I’m not promoting the idea of ‘profit over people’ and maximising sales at the expense of anything else. Those words kept me off LinkedIn for at least two weeks as people took their opportunity to be heard. I’m talking about making the most of helping your customers, when and only if you were able to do so safely. Thankfully, we were. Our warehouse team is not currently looking back on quite the same lockdown experience as so many others in the UK. They haven’t stopped! And they’ve wrapped compost bin, after compost bin, after compost bin, as the UK took to disposing their own garden waste whilst councils stopped collections.
It’s not just been compost bins either. The increase in the number of people choosing to start growing their own vegetables is amazing! You must have seen it?! I bet you know at least 1 person or family who has built a raised bed in their garden during lockdown. They’ve planted some seeds and they’re probably enjoying the fruits of their labour right now. Radishes, spring onions, carrots, spinach, lettuce, potatoes, you name it, the people of the UK are growing them in their gardens.
The number of people who have taken to their garden during the past 12 weeks or so has been incredible. And they all need our help. Plenty of them are still out there too. At the time of writing there’s still 8million people furloughed and sadly that number is not likely to come down too quickly. But it’s our job to help them enjoy their garden. And the following pages will show you exactly how we can help you do that, if you want to.
Perhaps, like me, you feel that the word ‘unprecedented’ has been somewhat overused recently, but we genuinely have seen an unprecedented increase in sales of our garden products over the past two months and we’d love to work with you to continue to bring our products to more people. Within this edition of Garden Matters you’ll find out exactly what we’re doing and how we can work together to help more people make the most of this time. And given so many UK gardens are looking better than they ever have, you may choose to encourage your customers to take part in our VIRTUAL GARDEN FESTIVAL 2020 from 29th to 31st August. Keep on reading to find out more.
Whatever lockdown has meant for you, I hope you, your family & loved ones are safe and well and finding a way to make the most of this unusual spring