As we step into November, our journey in the floral industry has been nothing short of eventful, filled with constant travel and updates both within our sector and around the world. Once again, we are thrilled to share another month of the the wizards wand news october 2023, aiming to keep our floral industry community well-informed about the happenings in the floral world and beyond.
Our team at Above All Flowers and New Bloom Solutions recently had the honor of being invited to Proflora, an event that holds immense significance in the floral industry. This opportunity was nothing short of extraordinary for our company and the brands we represent. Our presence at events like Proflora goes beyond showcasing our brand; it’s about representing you, our cherished customers.
Sahid Nahim, the co-president of AAF and NBS, had the privilege of being invited as a press, offering him a firsthand view of major bouquet companies and growers in the floral industry and the opportunity to connect with many industry leaders. The highlight of this experience was the exclusive interviews with various companies at their booths and hosting a mesmerizing Bloom Show at our own booth during Proflora. The booth interview episodes are being posted weekly on The Bloom Show Channel on YouTube and can be found here.
Proflora turned out to be an incredibly rewarding experience, enabling us to discover exciting new products for our floral industry audience and establish connections with potential customers and products that can benefit our floral community. Sahid also had the opportunity to travel to Medellin, where he visited five of our customers in the floral industry. We are diligently working on the blog, which will be out very soon.
we had the privilege of attending IFPA in Anaheim, California, an event that consistently helps us forge connections with larger supermarket-focused companies and explore new products and vendors in the floral industry. Excitingly, we’ll be introducing some incredible products in the near future.
Currently, we are diligently working on our much-anticipated second annual floral events calendar. We are delighted to open up sponsorship opportunities for industry conventions, associations, and companies for specific months in the floral industry. For further details, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. The number of available spaces is limited, and we currently have eight months up for selection.
We are also thrilled to announce the launch of our Bloom Crew Influencer program for the floral industry. Many new influencers have already signed up. The program offers influencers the opportunity to receive products from our vendors in the floral industry and write a blog piece about their experience. If you are interested in becoming a part of the Bloom Crew in the floral industry, use this link. If you are a vendor and want more information, reach out to email@example.com.
Now, let’s delve into the Wizard News to discover what’s been happening around the world in the floral industry.
The Wizard presents some of the current challenges and opportunities in the world and will let you evaluate how they relate to you and your business.
“Dutch flower and plant exports are projected to close the first three quarters of 2023 with an export value of 5.3 billion euros, a decrease of 4%. This information was announced by the Association of Wholesalers in Flower Nursery Products (VGB) based on Floridata export statistics. Cut flowers have decreased by 5% to 3.2 billion euros, and plants by 3% to 2.1 billion euros.
Increased costs are significantly affecting the industry, including areas such as transport, energy, and labor. Demand for flowers and plants lags. Exports to the UK and France have seen sharp declines compared to the decrease in exports to Germany. Only Belgium showed a small increase in the top 10.
“On top of the war situation in Ukraine, which adds uncertainty, we are now also facing issues in Israel. The situation there is, of course, terrible. Strangely, it is also impacting our floriculture sector,” says Matthijs Mesken, director of the VGB. More than 200 growers operate in Israel, from whom Dutch traders purchase flowers and plants, amounting to €15 million annually. The export of flowers and plants from Israel has come to a standstill. We hope for a swift resolution and peace to be restored.”
According to the Wall Street Journal:
“Certain pandemic-era spending trends, like home improvement purchases, have slowed. Retailers such as Best Buy, Costco, and Home Depot are closely monitoring consumer trends. Spending on furniture, vehicles, and durable goods remains higher than pre-pandemic levels. and nondurable goods has returned to pre-pandemic levels.”
Consumer sentiment has declined in October for the third consecutive month, according to a University of Michigan survey. Shannon Seery, an economist at Wells Fargo, notes, “There were various reasons why sentiment could have fallen, given different geopolitical events and macroeconomic uncertainties, but sentiment movements are volatile and don’t necessarily align with broader spending.”
Large buyers are aiming to boost profit margins by requesting cost reductions and negotiations from vendors, putting additional pressure on suppliers.
On the other hand, Reuters reported on October 24 that US business output increased in October. The manufacturing sector emerged from a five-month contraction due to a rise in new orders. Service activity also grew modestly amid signs of easing inflationary pressures.
According to Bloomberg, Americans plan to spend more on holiday gifts this year compared to last year. The Holiday Shopping Survey reveals that 29% of respondents intend to increase holiday spending, while only 16% plan to spend less. Despite declining savings among Americans, over 80% plan to spend $500 or more, up from 62% last year. Furthermore, 21% of survey respondents plan to spend over $1,000 on holiday shopping, up from 14% the previous year. The hope is that a significant portion of this money will be spent on holiday floral gifts and decorations, as well as everyday flower business.
Recent economic disruptions, including labor strikes, have not deterred businesses from hiring. Unemployment remains low, and hiring outpaces job-quitting, as reported by the Labor Department. Many companies, including those in the flower business, are benefiting from tax credits and government support programs like the ERC (Employee Retention Credit).
“The US economy added 336,000 jobs in September, nearly twice as many as the 170,000 economists had expected. The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.8%, which is low by historical standards. Initial jobless claims dropped to 198,000 in the week ending Oct. 14, a decrease of 13,000 from the previous week and the lowest number in eight months. The four-week average fell by 1,000, to 205,750, with roughly 1.73 million Americans in total collecting unemployment benefits. The four-week moving average of claims increased slightly to 207,500.”
A survey by ResumeBuilder.com found that 74% of business leaders plan to offer raises next year, with 50% providing increases to half of their employees. The survey also indicates that many leaders will focus on giving raises to middle- and senior-level employees. The hope is that the current major strikes will be resolved, leading to stabilization in the labor market.
“Waning consumer demand for goods in the US and Europe has significantly lowered ocean shipping rates, dropping them by as much as 90% from pandemic highs in early 2022. This has forced some operators to put vessels into storage and reduce unprofitable sailing schedules. Pricing may be further driven down by planned container deliveries that are expected to increase capacity by 8.3% in 2023 and 8.9% in 2024.”
Many large shipping customers are negotiating discounts with UPS and FedEx as they strive to fill their trucks. Volume continues to equal discounts and pricing leverage in a world characterized by overcapacity. UPS lost some business during contract negotiations with the Teamsters, but they estimate they have regained about 40% of the lost business.
Some freight experts believe that the current market has 25% overcapacity and is seen as unsustainable. Speculation suggests that the market may stabilize around 2025. Holiday hiring among logistics-related firms like UPS appears relatively flat this year, with warehouse operators offering limited pay increases compared to the higher rates during the pandemic.
Warm regards and thanks for reading my rants,
The Flower Wizard
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