I’ve Got Some Questions! By Tim Hodson

As we enter the New Year, it’s always kind of fun to make predictions and see how they play out. Last January, I don’t think anyone could have predicted many of the things that happened in 2008. So I won’t make any predictions; instead, I have a few questions. Hopefully, we will know the answers to these questions by next January.

Monkeying Around with the Economy

Last month, the government’s financial gurus officially proclaimed that we are in a recession. I don’t know what took them so long to make their proclamation. Any amateur economist could have told you that about 12 months ago!

The economy is the 800-pound gorilla in the industry, and it weighs heavily on most of my questions. With that in mind, here goes: These are, in no particular order, some of my questions for 2009.

  • Will the industry continue to see vendor consolidation? What companies are potential targets?
  • Will we see more consolidation of growers (large and small)?
  • When will the housing slump ever end?
  • How much will consumers be willing to spend on floriculture products this year?
  • What will the weatherman bring in ’09? Drought conditions? Floods?
  • Hurricanes? Ideal growing conditions?
  • After 2008’s crazy, fluctuating prices, how much will a gallon of gas cost in 2010?
  • What will happen to natural gas prices this year?
  • What kind of “eco-friendly” products can we expect to see introduced this year?
  • Will consumers be willing to buy these products?
  • Where will the stock market be at the end of 2009?
  • How will Home Depot’s customer service initiatives play out this year in this economy?
  • Will the industry reach some kind of a consensus on a sustainability standard?
  • What kind of impact will the new presidential administration have on the economy? On our industry?
  • How will the industry endure the current credit crunch?
  • What will the state of pay by scan be at the end of this year? Will we see any changes?
  • Now that it is no longer an election year, what kind of changes will we see in our immigration laws?
  • How will Wal-Mart’s 2008 vendor reduction impact big growers? Contract growers?
  • How many Home Depot, Lowe’s and Wal-Mart stores will open in 2009? How many will close?

Do You Have Questions?

These are just some of my questions for the New Year. I’m sure you have plenty of them too, and I’d love to hear them. Drop me a line at [email protected]

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