“The successful nurseries are the ones that chose a single strategy. And generally speaking, you’ll also find that they are managed by the owners. After all, the best fertiliser is the owner’s boots”, says Billy Coulson. He and his wife Fiona run Nini Flowers.
Nini Flowers has two branches in Naivasha: Nini (1996) and Lamorna (2003). Ten years ago, Billy and Fiona Coulson decided they wanted to focus entirely on retail. Whether that’s a tough game? “We’re still big enough to be of interest to the retailers.”
Nini Flowers was one of the founders of the Tele Flower auction in Amstelveen in 1995. One of the two Nini farms distributed via this auction, the other one sold directly to flower traders. But that didn’t really work according to Billy and Fiona, because when auction prices were high, it was difficult ‘not to rob Peter and pay Paul’.
The owner’s boots
That’s why ten years ago, the Coulsons made a strategic decision. They stopped selling via the auction, replaced the crops at one of their farms and simplified their distribution process. Billy: “Our new strategy was focused on FOB sales to retailers. That became our specialisation.”
Ten years later, Billy and Fiona still support this choice. “I believe that the successful nurseries are the ones that chose a single strategy. And generally speaking, you’ll also find that they are managed by the owners. After all, the best fertiliser is the owner’s boots. My wife and I are always around. The combination of auction sales and direct sales doesn’t work. A grower should choose a strategy and stick with it.” (..)
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