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    Holiday Floral Sales Wilt: PMA Survey

    NEWARK, Del. -- Analysis of the first-ever supermarket floral industry holiday sales and trends by the Produce Marketing Association (PMA) here indicates that year-end seasonal sales were down, due in part to bad weather and consumers' concerns about the economy.

    NEWARK, Del. -- Analysis of the first-ever supermarket floral industry holiday sales and trends by the Produce Marketing Association (PMA) here indicates that year-end seasonal sales were down, due in part to bad weather and consumers' concerns about the economy.

    PMA's first "Floral Holiday Market Watch," released Feb. 8, found same-store sales down during the December 2007 holiday season, defined as the five weeks starting with Thanksgiving and ending at Christmas. Over 60 percent of respondents rated the season as not meeting their sales expectations. Experiences were mixed, with some chains reporting that poinsettias and evergreens outperformed fresh-cut arrangements, though fresh-cut flowers contributed more to average total sales.

    "The first report covers many topics of vital interest to the floral industry, including the impact environmental and economical hardships may have contributed to December 2007's slight drop in sales," Said Cindy Hanauer, director of floral operations for Jacksonville, Fla.-based Winn-Dixie, and vice chair of PMA's floral council. "It doesn't just present holiday sales data in a vacuum; it puts our recent experience in the context of longer market trends, for example that sales of fresh-cut flowers have increased by nearly 10 percent from 2005 to 2007."

    The "Floral Holiday Market Watch" report on the December 2007 holiday season is available free of charge to PMA members, while a second, Valentine's Day installment will be available in mid-March.

    For more information visit www.pma.com/floral or contact (302) 738-7100.

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