The last few months have been bumpy for all of us, but gradually the lockdown restrictions are easing and things are starting to feel a little more normal.
For small businesses, the challenges are still very much present, and I wanted to share with you a few things that we're dealing with at Lazy Flora that are making our work harder than usual.
- Many plant growers have far less stock than they normally have at this time of year. Across Europe, lockdown couldn't have happened at a worse time. Growers were unable to sow seeds and care for delicate young plants just ahead of the busiest, and financially most important, time of year.
- Demand has never been higher for plants because everyone is still spending a lot of time at home. Very sadly, this won't be enough to save many businesses, and we will inevitably see plant growers and retailers go out of business this year.
- Supply is really restricted some growers are limiting the number of plants retailers can purchase because they simply don't have enough stock, due to the aforementioned lockdown restrictions.
- Prices for plants have doubled in the space of 2 months as a result of the surge in demand.
We're doing everything we can to protect you from the effects of these changes, and bring you the best possible service we can, but I also want you to be aware that this really is not business as usual, despite how things may appear.
- We cannot order all the stock we need, which means we have limited availability of certain items for you, our customers.
- It's incredibly hard for us to know in advance which plants will go out in our outdoor plant deliveries. We've had numerous scheduled deliveries over the past 8 weeks where we've ordered very specific plants, then been forced to select substitutes due to last-second availability issues, only to have the replacement plants missed off a shipment.
- Lazy Flora is absorbing all the price increases in full. We have no plans (at this point) to increase our prices - we're hoping that, in time, the market will settle down.
- We're being inventive and creative in presenting the best plants around. We're learning a lot about you from this and how we can best help you right now!
I'm sharing this because - honestly - it's been a really tough few weeks. There have been tears and frustration, and I feel that in order to be fair to my team, you should know just what we're up against.
We also realise that plant availability has impacted customers, and that it hasn't been easy for you to get hold of some of your favourite plants this season, so as things gradually improve over the coming weeks and months, we want to be able to help you with that. We have plans for something quite exciting over the next few weeks, but we need your input to get this set up.
If you could spare a few minutes to take this survey and tell us a bit about what plants you're most interested in finding right now, that would be a great help, and will mean that we're best able to focus our efforts.
You've been incredibly understanding so far, thank you so much for your compassion.
Please do continue to champion small businesses while we navigate this strange landscape. We have really big plans for the future and can't wait for these added complications to go away so we can show you more of what we can do.
Lazy Flora Founder