The green industry overall has experienced growing sales and positive profit margins for the last few years.
Nursery and greenhouse growers reported strong advance bookings for the 2020 spring season, however, the coronavirus crisis has brought significant uncertainty. If Northeast states continue shelter-at-home orders or similar shutdowns during the critical spring sales window, it could mean a major economic disruption to the industry.
States and localities vary in their assessment of whether garden centers are “essential businesses” exempt from lockdown orders. New York has not included horticulture among essential industries.
Inventory levels have been building over the last few years and there are now few shortages in the market. Some gaps persist for long-rotation woody materials in high demand, but the majority of demand is now supplied.
Sod sales have declined amidst a slowdown of construction and landscape activity.
Labor availability and cost remains a serious challenge for the green industry and like many businesses that have traditionally used the H-2A program the logistics of bringing in workers could be a challenge.