I did some follow up on Thanksgiving and it appears that this, once profitable holiday day, is now only a speed bump on the floral holiday path.
From most accounts the mass market did fine and lots of products were sold. However, traditional retailers that are not using social media at some level were flat. We all know there are less and less of these shops around and the challenge for wholesalers is finding new shops so they can continue to grow. But are enough new shops opening to satisfy this need? I think not. Leaving wholesalers in a shrinking market.
Growers and importers dumped a lot of flowers in the last few months (not on the market but in the trash) due to lackluster demand. I think the US consumer market is cautious about spending money these days. With the stock market booming and the politics in America so polarized consumers are wary of spending. Ecuador is struggling and exploring markets that were once considered too risky.
The Colombian Growers are getting a break in the form of a favorable exchange rate. This has given them some much needed breathing room. Colombia has many favorable features over its’ Ecuadorean counterpart. Favorable exchange rate, less expensive freight rates to Miami, little or no import duties and excellent quality. Of course Ecuador has lots of really large roses and limitless varieties to choose from.
Those varieties will be features at no less than two show in Quito this Year. As I have mentioned in past writings the Ecuadorean flower growers association Expo Flores decided to hold its own show in 2018 splitting from a long history with HPP who has organized the Agriflor show there for the last 25 years.
I learned on Wednesday that HPP has decided to move their long running Agriflor show in Quito from October to September 19,20,21, 2018 which will now place it on the same dates that the Flor Ecuador show, sponsored by ExpoFlores, has been scheduled.
This makes perfect sense for the international buyers who would have been otherwise forced to choose between the two competing shows.
I applaud HPP for making this change for the sake of the concerned buyers and visitors like me.
The air freight situation from South America has eased a bit but the rates that were increased over the last several months are not going down.
This service interruption has many importers looking at sea containers as an alternative to Air. The technology that allows this to work has improved greatly over the last 5 years making this once, “crazy idea” feasible. With near perfect climate control and 5-15 days at sea (depending on the destination) the success rate is getting better and better. The challenge for most importers is that most cannot fill a container forcing them to work with others to make a full load.
Finally, it’s been a most interesting year and I was fortunate to be able to attend a lot of shows around the world and bring back my findings to you my valued audience. (thank you)!
2018 promises many new adventures and I hope that you will stay with me as I strive to bring you the freshest industry buzz. and news.
Thanks you for reading and I wish everyone happy holidays.