When COVID-19 Hit, Plantorama Accelerated Their Entire Business Model in 14 Days

The garden centre Plantorama advanced huge online bets when the corona crisis suddenly hit. In just 14 days, the company created a new business leg with help from Novicell.

Crises create challenges – but also opportunities

Denmark’s largest chain of garden centres, Plantorama, saw an opportunity when the corona crisis struck. The chain was heading into its peak season as the prime minister held his landmark press conference on 11 March that shut down large parts of the country.

With the prospect of the chain's 11 garden centres being left empty, the family-owned chain acted quickly. With the help of Novicell, the company accelerated a major online venture, which should have launched one year later.

One month before the lockdown, we launched what we call 'Click & Collect', where customers can order their goods online and pick them up at one of our centres. This service should have been expanded with 'Click & Get Delivered' in 2021, but due to the lockdown we decided to launch the service now, says Ditte Lunde Hardahl, Omnichannel Manager at Plantorama.

Fast innovation and 22 new vans

From thought to launch, it took about 14 days.

Even though the engine behind the webshop was created with 'Click & Collect' in mind, it was not easy to expand with a delivery function. Many internal processes had to be defined and a route-planning system with integration to our ERP system had to be implemented to be ready for go live. At the same time, all this had to happen in a situation where all administrative staff worked from home, says Ditte Lunde Hardahl, Omnichannel Manager at Plantorama.

In addition, Plantorama did not have any cars for delivery, so the company also had to order 22 new vans in record time.

We succeeded with the project because all teams were adaptable and highly motivated to make a difference for their work place during this crisis. At the same time, the launch of 'Click & Collect' had created knowledge and given us confidence that we were able to use to a maximum in creating our home delivery service, she says.

Achieving an ambitious goal

After being online for just over three weeks, 'Click & Get Delivered' has already reached revenue targets that were set before launch, and the lightning-quick conversion arouses the admiration of Novicell, who has been the web interface user.

It has been an intensive process, but it is a great pleasure to work with companies where the decision-making processes are so short and where you observe a possible problem, and then adjust and find a solution, says Martin Skøtt, Client Director at Novicell.

With the digital initiatives, Plantorama expects to be able to keep up sales so much that all approximately 650 employees can keep their jobs through the crisis.