Managing a Flower Shop in the New Milenium: the Changing Floral Marketplace

I have been working in and around local flower shops for close to ten years. My Sister-In-Law has been a florist for almost 15 years, and 5 years ago, my fiance and I became the newest Winnipeg Florist, in a different area of Winnipeg. Anyone who is close to a florist will know that holidays like Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day require an elevated level of staffing a delivery drives, so I had the opportunity to witness the mayhem first hand. Having been exposed to the florist business over these years, I have witnessed some major changes in the market Flower HUT.

Going even further back, before getting involved in the flower business, even as soon as the late 90’s, flower shops were fairly typically a local business. Mom and Pop type stores run by families or groups of friends that spent a great deal of time building their clientele by providing good service to their usual customers. With the exception of some of the larger florists and franchises, most of the marketing was done by word of mouth and through the expectation that you could go to your local florist and have a chat with them while they got your order ready, and if you spent some time there, they may even know the names of your kids or ask how your spouse was doing. Very friendly, “down home” types of atmospheres.

During this time, consumers also had access to wire services like FTD and Teleflora. These types of services have been around for almost 100 years, and started as a legitimate way for florists to connect with each other and send and receive orders from other areas of the country and subsequently, the world. During the 90s this all changed. Telephone services became a way for affiliate marketeers to advertise outside of their own area with local phone numbers that are forwarded to call centers somewhere else. These orders are then fulfilled by local florists who subscribe to the wire services, leading to a reduced market share for other local florists, and highly reduced profit margins and quality from the fulfilling florist.

Now in the late 90’s comes the Internet with a roar. While the wire services like FTD are still around, the Internet now created a new market for both the wire services and the local florists. Now a flower shop could be found world wide. You live in Australia and want to send Valentine’s Day flowers to your Sister in Holland; No problem! Just search online and you could find a great deal of flower shops that could send them whatever you need. In fact, during certain times of the year, like Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day, “flowers” will often hit top 10 search rankings in the world!

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