Opinion

Millions of plants are being
destroyed due to COVID-19
impacts closing garden centres

Coronavirus resource hub

Millions of plants are being destroyed due to COVID-19 impacts closing garden centres

Published: 5th May 2020
Area: Corporate Restructuring & Insolvency
Author(s): Andrew Taylor ,

Since lockdown began, most garden centres across the UK have been closed, due to being classed as ‘non-essential’. With many of the plants stocked by garden centres being perishable, this has led to them having to be given away or destroyed, hugely impacting this year’s profits.

Garden centres are wilting due to COVID-19

Although necessary, these closures have come at the worst possible moment for garden centres, as it’s their busiest time of the year. The value of stock during this key trading period is typically three to four times the year-end value of most businesses. If the garden centres have no customers, it’s a nightmare scenario.

Plant growers are also feeling the strain, with a number already on the edge of insolvency. In fact, according to a Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) survey, one-third of UK plant growing firms say they fear they will go bust by the end of 2020, because of COVID-19.

Some may be able to consider restructuring options if they take early advice and utilise the Government’s package of help, but for many it’s already too late. Plus, according to the HTA, despite applying, fewer than a fifth of growers have received help through the Government’s business support measures, leaving them in a state of financial limbo.

Can garden centres recover from the COVID-19 outbreak?

It’s currently very difficult times for both businesses and gardeners, as the industry itself usually brings so much joy to consumers. Unless garden centres are able to reopen soon, there is the very real prospect that those self-isolating in their gardens will fail to see them bloom in the months ahead.

On the upside, the increase in the online sales of seeds has led to a shortage, so it won’t be an entirely plant-free summer.

Contact us

For businesses looking for further guidance, contact Michael Mulligan in our insolvency team.

Shakespeare Martineau has launched a free legal helpline offering bespoke guidance on a range of subjects from employment and general business matters, through to director’s responsibilities, insolvency, restructuring, funding and disputes. We also have a team of experts on hand for any queries on family and private matters too. Available from 10am-12pm Monday to Friday, call 0800 689 4064.

General advice in relation to COVID-19 can be found on our dedicated coronavirus resource hub.

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