Boutique retailers have reported a significant increase in the sales of houseplants, shifting 70% more units than they did in 2018. The new study released today by Vend, the preferred retail point-of-sale software of the British Independent Retail Association, found the UK is going potty for plants.
According to the report, Brits buy an average of two houseplants per year at £8.12 each, meaning the country collectively spends £529 million annually. Small businesses are cashing in on the new British love affair with botany, as homeowners seek to brighten their living rooms with orchids and furnish shelves with ferns and ivy plants.
Vend analysed its customer database to find Britain’s most commonly purchased houseplants and discovered cacti and succulents to be the most popular over the time period measured. Together they made up 47% of units sold, followed by ferns (11%) and orchids (8%). The popularity of cacti and succulents was such that the number of stockists increased by 430% since 2016.
Vend surveyed 1,001 consumers to discover how serious the gasp for greenery is and found that one in ten Brits (12%) devote more time per week to looking after their houseplants than having sex. Meanwhile 11% spend more time with their succulents than going on dates and 10% admitted to caring for their potted partners more than cooking meals.
It’s a trend that has been well and truly sown; #houseplantclub peppers Instagram feeds with beautiful images of plants, and accounts such as @boyswithplants excite millennials with daily photographs of attractive men amongst shrubbery.
Higor Torchia, managing director at Vend EMEA, said: “Independent retailers are profiting from the increased demand for houseplants. Vend’s analysis found that many boutique stores are diversifying their product base to include plants, as they seek to satisfy consumer appetite and increase their sales.”
“Whether looking for greenery to create more tranquil spaces, or redesigning their homes to bring the outside indoors, shoppers are opening their wallets and bringing some respite to the high street.”
Alex Springer, founder of South London based houseplant and botanical goods shop Pearspring, said: “Interest in horticulture has shot up in the past year, as city dwellers become increasingly aware of the benefits plants bring to personal wellbeing and more people look after exotic species as a hobby.
“Plants are also very Instagrammable, which has been a massive factor in the sales boom and really helped to cement the trend for houseplants becoming the must-have interior at the moment. In the last 12 months alone we’ve seen a 42% increase in transaction volume at the shop, and turnover is also up 59%.”