A Look Back On 2011 Sales

More than 100 GreenhouseGrower.com readers took a recent survey with questions about their 2011 sales and their sales expectations for next year.

Looking back on 2011, the majority of those surveyed (61 percent) say their sales were up this year compared to 2010. Nearly 20 percent of those surveyed say sales were only up less than 5 percent; nearly 19 percent say their 2011 sales were up between 5 and 10 percent over 2010; 7 percent even say their sales were up more than 20 percent over the previous year.

Still, a number of growers experienced poor spring weather and, consequentially, poorer sales than 2010. More than 13 percent of those surveyed say their sales were down at least 10 percent compared to 2010.

“Record rainfall in 2011 killed spring traffic,” says a Midwest grower/retailer with less than 50,000 square feet of greenhouse space. “Hopefully 2012 will be a little less rainy.”

Adds another Midwest grower/retailer with between 50,000 and 100,000 square feet of greenhouse space: “[We] need folks to be working. They don’t have the cash flow to (pay) the necessary bills. That’s hurting us for the non-necessary cash they have.”

One in eight growers report their 2011 sales were flat compared to 2010.

“The public has a box store mentality,” says a Northeast grower-retailer with less than 50,000 square feet of greenhouse space . “They want deep discounts – period. Quality and service can’t compensate for price in this economy. I wish i was more optimistic, but only my loyal customers are keeping me afloat.”

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