As an industry, we’ve been faced with numerous challenges since Brexit, with Covid, shipping delays and the war in Ukraine all playing a role in the increasing cost of goods and services in the UK – and adding to staffing issues. Now, as the rise in inflation is pushing up the cost of living, we’re finding out how those working in the nursery sector are managing as they face the ongoing challenges.
This week, Matt Dyson of award-winning nursery brand, Rockit, shares his insights into what he’s seeing in the industry at the moment and what changes he’s seeing in consumer spending habits:
“There appears to be a more pronounced peak in online sales at the end of the month when people get paid. This has always been the case, but it is definitely increasing.”
Have you had to adapt your marketing strategy to cope with the current situation?
“We are making our Instagram page more engaging to encourage more shares. We are also starting with TikTok to capture more customers that would otherwise not be aware of Rockit.”
How concerned are you about reduced consumer spending this Christmas?
“Monthly sales are currently buoyant, and as a growing business, we’re not making any cutbacks – but we’re still cautious about a slowdown.”
Do you already have a specific recession strategy in place?
“Not at present – but we’re reviewing sales to spot any downward trends.”
How are you supporting your staff as the cost of living continues to rise?
Contributing towards the cost of childcare
Offering meal vouchers
Contributing towards the cost of commuting
Flexibility for working carers – Flexible working hours and only 3 days in the office.
Support for worker wellbeing
Guaranteed hours of work
We also regularly send surplus stock to the Cowshed charity.
Finally, Matt shares some advice for businesses struggling at the moment:
“60% of our sales are into export markets. I believe it’s a good opportunity to mitigate the risk of a slowdown in the UK by accessing new markets. As Department of International Trade ‘Export Champions’ we advise other small businesses on how to start exporting and sign post them to help and funding. The Export Academy is a great place to start.”