Chelsea Flower Show: new data shows 88% rise in number of florists across the UK

New data reveals an 88 per cent surge in the number of independent garden centres, nurseries and flower stores across the UK.

As the RHS Chelsea Flower Show continues, we’ve dug into our data to look for trends in the industry across the UK.

It’s positive news – the huge rise in the garden centres, nurseries and flower shops shows that UK florists are really blooming. The number has risen consistently over a four-year period.

895 policies were taken out in 2018

We analysed 2,550 insurance policies for garden centres, nurseries and flower shops taken out over a four-year period from 2014-2018. The data shows that the number of policies taken out increased by a huge 88 per cent.

Last year 895 policies were taken out, compared to 180 in 2014:

Year Number of policies taken out Percentage increase between each year
2018 895 24%
2017 677 32%
2016 463 27%
2015 335 46%
2014 180  

Further analysis shows regional trends

The data suggests the urban gardening movement has really taken hold of green-fingered city dwellers in London.

That region has seen the highest growth in independent garden centres, nurseries and flower shops over the same four-year period, with a whopping 71 per cent increase.

London’s closely followed by East Anglia and the South West of England, with 66 per cent and 65 per cent increases respectively:

Region Percentage between each year 2014-2018
London 71%
East Anglia 66%
South West England 65%
South East England 65%
South Central England 64%
Wales 59%
The Midlands 58%
North East England 57%
North West England 54%
Scotland 48%
Northern Ireland 36%

Top tips to help your flower or gardening business bloom

If you run a flower or gardening business, now’s your opportunity to make 2019 one of your best years yet.

With summer just around the corner, is there anything you can be doing to help supercharge your business? Here are some of our top tips.

Check in with previous clients

Your clients may have gone quiet over the winter, so with summer nearly here now’s the time to check in and see if you can help with anything. A friendly email or phone call should do the trick, ideally with some personalised suggestions for what you might be able to do with their garden or flower arrangements this year.

Refresh your website

When’s the last time you updated your business website? Spring is a great time for a refresh – look at your contact details and service list, for example, and make sure they’re up-to-date. You could also ramp up your social media efforts – and if you have a blog, consider writing an article with some spring 2019 gardening tips.

Find (and attend) events

Spring and summer bring a number of events around the country, including plant fairs and shows. These events can be a great chance to chat to other people in the industry and to meet potential clients – make sure you take plenty of business cards and flyers.

At some events, you may be able to apply for a stall so that you can sell your products or run a workshop, which could be a good way of promoting your business. But remember, it’s likely that you’ll need stallholder insurance if you’re going to trade at events.

Get the right insurance

If you know the spring and summer months will get busier, it might be worth checking your insurance to make sure it’s still up to scratch.

For example, public liability insurance should be high on the priority list before the work picks up. It covers you if you injure a member of the public or cause damage to their property.

And if your business has grown recently and you’ve taken on staff, it’s likely that you’re legally required to have employers’ liability insurance. This applies even if your employees are temporary.

Check out the sales

As the weather warms up, it can be a good opportunity to pick up cheaper kit in preparation for winter. If you take a more hands-on approach with gardening and landscaping for clients, for example, you may be able to get a good discount on clothes for wet and wintry weather. Good boots, micro fleeces, and waterproof jackets and trousers should see you through bad weather.

Do you have any more tips for florists, garden centres and nurseries? Let us know in the comments below.

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