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Millennials help boost Christmas tree sales

Tight supply and strong demand continues to raise the prices on Christmas trees.

BY HBSDealer Staff

Strong consumer demand for real Christmas trees, particularly from millennials looking to start their own holiday traditions, has helped drive up the prices of trees.

According to a report from Square and the National Christmas Tree Association, Christmas tree prices increased by 23% from 2015 to 2018. The average price has risen from $62 to $76 during the span with prices rising 5% last season.

Adding to the price increase is a tight tree supply, according to the association. The end result is tree retailers and growers not offering any major discounts.

Data from Square, which provides point-of-sale and payroll solutions, shows that the Christmas tree buying season kicks into high gear on Black Friday with an average price of $79 with prices spiking on Cyber Monday, reaching $84.

For customers seeking a deal, holding out until the week before Christmas could save you up to 29%. Prices for procrastinators hit an all-time low on Christmas Eve at $50.

“Year after year, we see continued growth in the number of Christmas trees sold at tree farms,” said Tim O’Connor, executive director of the National Christmas Tree Association. He attributes much of this growth to the popularity of agritainment, otherwise known as farm-based entertainment and activities like hayrides, arts and crafts, light shows, pig racing, corn mazes, and more.

“With the increased consumer desire for authentic farm experiences, we’re noticing many of our members tap into that cultural trend by creating a space where families can spend an entire afternoon or evening,” Oc’Connor explained. “It’s a way to create new family traditions while putting a face to growers and truly understanding where their trees come from.”

For a seasonal industry like Christmas trees, agritainment is also opening the doors for business owners to diversify revenue streams.

Michael May, owner of Lazy Acres Farm in Chunky, Miss. said he has gradually added new attractions, to create a robust farm experience for his customers, during the Christmas season and beyond.

“With a typical Christmas Tree farm, you get paid once a year. So I’m constantly dreaming up new ways to diversify our income, through all seasons,” May said. “It’s about creating new avenues for us to encourage visitors to come and spend the day, not just select their tree and leave.”

Since taking full ownership of the farm nearly two decades ago, May added a pumpkin patch in the Fall, Easter egg hunts in the Spring, and hosts weddings in the Summer.

During the Christmas season, visitors can ride Lazy Acres’ tractor-drawn sleigh into the fields to cut down their own tree, drive through a Christmas light show, spend time at the animal park, or visit Santa’s Workshop to Christmas Cookies, design ornaments, and build their own stuffed animals.

 

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