Bolhuis, from Haren in Groningen, expects to sell up to 10 percent more Christmas trees this year. “The trade orders quite early. Most orders have been received, which gives a good indication.” Other companies affiliated with the Dutch Christmas Tree Growers Association, of which Bolhuis is secretary, also expect a very good year.
The grower explains the peak in demand due to the desire for homeliness in corona time and the disappearance of holidays. “At Christmas, a lot of people normally go on winter sports, but it is expected that this will happen much less now. Then they stay at home and want to have a good time.”
‘Helps to spread the audience’
The Christmas department in garden center ‘t Vaarderhoogt in Soest is almost ready, about two weeks earlier than in other years. “And we notice that there is already plenty of shopping there,” says owner Harm Heinen. Yet he has not only taken action earlier because of the expected high demand, he says. “The whole situation is different, with a broader set-up and wider aisles. So you have to build that up earlier.”
The fact that sales seem to start earlier this year helps to spread the shopping public, Heinen continues. Normally the storm only started in the days after Sinterklaas, but now retailers cannot receive hundreds of people at once. “It is wise to get trees and other items earlier this year.”
Bolhuis says that the growers can handle the demand well and that no one is fobbed off with a mini tree. “If there were several years of high demand, it might be a different story. But now there are plenty of trees.”
Bolhuis and Heinen do warn against a hasty purchase: a tree that you now bring into your home will already be completely bare around Sinterklaas.