Shopkeeper’s bungalow overwhelmed with thousands of plants as online trade booms

A shopkeeper who has moved 12,000 plants through her “tiny little” two-bedroom bungalow since lockdown began has said her online business is booming.

Kerri Notman, 29, decided to close the doors at her plant and gift shop in Norwich a day before the coronavirus lockdown was formally announced.

She said she felt it was safer for customers and her family to run a delivery operation from her home near Mattishall in Norfolk, and that since doing so her online orders have tripled.

Coronavirus – Thu May 14, 2020
Kerri Notman at her home near Mattishall, Norfolk (Joe Giddens/ PA)

“The sales coming through are absolutely ridiculous,” the mother-of-one said.

“We’re doing 200 to 300 plants easily per day. We’ve got 30 or 40 parcels going out locally with my partner and my sister every day.

“I think everyone’s just sitting at home bored and they want to buy more stuff, they want to make their houses look good and with all the shops closed they’re spending their money online.”

Ms Notman specialises in houseplants such as cacti and succulents and said they must be kept indoors to survive.

Coronavirus – Thu May 14, 2020
Kerri Notman has also used a caravan at her home for extra storage (Joe Giddens/ PA)

“We should have had a greenhouse delivered but because of the lockdown that got cancelled,” she said.

“If we had that then we could have stored the stuff in there but because we don’t have that I’ve literally got it everywhere in my house – my caravan is full of plants.

“It’s only a two-bedroom bungalow, it’s a tiny little bungalow, nothing massive, hence why everything’s pretty much everywhere. It’s ridiculous.

“My kitchen is floor to ceiling with boxes waiting to be collected.”

Coronavirus – Thu May 14, 2020
Kerri Notman said online orders have tripled during the coronavirus pandemic (Joe Giddens/ PA)

She said space got so tight during the daytime that some plants had to be stored in her 11-month-old daughter Maggie’s cot.

Although her business, called Leslie Terrance, is taking less than when the shop is open, Ms Notman said it is “surviving quite well”.

“We’re not going to close down any time soon, which at the beginning of the lockdown I was thinking – oh God, here we go, I’m going to have to get a regular job, I’m going to have to find childcare for Maggie,” she said.

Ms Notman said that 12,000 plants have come through her bungalow since lockdown began, 4,000 in the last week and there are up to 3,000 pots at any one time.

Coronavirus – Thu May 14, 2020
Kerri Notman said it felt safer to close her plant shop and run the online business from home during lockdown (Joe Giddens/ PA)

“I like it, it’s quite nice, but at the same time we’ve got all this time at home when we could probably be decorating.

“We’ve recently just moved in here but we actually can’t (decorate) as there are plants everywhere.”

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