Why Shop at a Local Florist: #1

Posted by on September 4, 2007 in Cut Flowers | 7 comments

1.  Our flowers are better.

OK, so I am, admittedly, starting out with one of the more controversial issues.  Are the flowers really better at a flower shop?  If so, why?  And if not,  can you expect people to pay more for them at a flower shop?

I would say (and this is actually what I told Money magazine, although they didn’t have room to quote our entire conversation) that in fact, supermarket flowers are fine for ‘everyday’ flowers, just like Two Buck Chuck is fine for an everyday wine.  But there is an upscale version of both flowers and wine, and you do get more for your money when you’re willing to pay a little more.

Your customers don’t have any idea that there such a thing as a high-quality, high-end, luxury flower, so it’s up to you to tell them.  And it’s not enough to just say "our flowers are high-quality."  Everybody says that their product is high-quality.  So how do you say it?  Here are some ideas:

" We only buy flowers with longer stems, bigger blooms, and brighter colors.  Compare the size of our signature ‘Cherry Brandy’ rose to the typical supermarket rose, and you’ll see what we mean."

"Do you miss the fragrance of an old-fashioned rose?  We do too. That’s why our buyers are always on the lookout for roses, lilies, and other flowers that have a true garden fragrance."

"We have more choices.  In a typical week, we have roughly 75 varieties of flowers in stock.  If it’s in bloom anywhere in the world, we can usually get it."

"Don’t give ordinary flowers to an extraordinary person.  We specialize in exquisite, unusual, hard-to-find flowers that always make an impression."

7 Comments

  1. thank you for noticing that retail florists work hard to have something bigger, better and brighter to offer… plus that is all we do… just flowers

  2. Thank you, Amy, for drawing the line between typical and atypical. Those who shop only for bargains will, more than likely, not be a recurring flower shop customer, just as a bargain shopper will usually not be found at your upscale department store when there’s an option that sells seconds. Hey, they look just as good, right? Quality, true quality, is really the issue, and Amy has hit the nail on the head, for lack of a better response. Our flowers, our products, are upscale, luxury gift items, and our setting, store-fronts, service, and care should also reflect the difference. Excellent blog, Amy!

  3. First, let me say ‘thanks’ for talking to Jane Chatzky about the value of flowers from professional local florists. We seem to get left out of most discussions when it comes to comparing flower companies (especially during holidays) since the media typically looks at national wire services or boxed flower shippers.
    Your series on “Why Shop at a Local Florist” has been the topic of discussion, anticipation and speculation ;) at http://www.flowerchat.com – the largest online community for professional florists. Hope you’ll drop in some time and visit us.
    Thanks for a great #1 and looking forward to the next 11.

  4. Amy,
    Thanks for pointing out the great reasons to shop with your local florist. I’m going to wait to see your next 11 before I comment any further…great start! And again, a big thanks!

  5. In our local supermarkets, there is also a handling issue. Flowers are often left out of the cooler for extended periods of time, in an effort to merchandise them on endcaps and POP displays. Being held in the cold slows the aging process, so you will get fresher flowers from our shop than the grocery store.

  6. I am a UK florist – I grow all my own flowers and when I don’t have what people are looking for I point them towards another local florist.
    However – 2 weeks ago I needed roses in a hurry for corsages being done as a favour to my now sister-in-law. It was a last minute thing – I didn’t have time to source British grown roses as I would normally so phoned round all florists in a 40 minutes radius asking for organic, British, or fair trade flowers. There were absolutely NONE – over 1/2 the shops didn’t know where their flowers even came from and hadn’t asked about how they were grown.
    In desperation I tried the supermarket – they had no British grown or organic roses (they did have these categories in other flowers) but they had masses of Fair Trade ones in a range of pretty colours.
    It was a good lesson. Supermarkets respond to customer requests and florist shops cannot rest on their laurels.
    Florists who are bothering to keep up with this site are likely to be the ones who ask questions of their suppliers, unfortunately they aren’t in the majority in the UK at least.
    J

  7. What about buying from a wholesaler if you have a friend who has taken arranging classes and you trust? That’s what we’re doing for my wedding and it’s working out fabulously. I’m saving tons of money, J is going to do fabulous arrangements and I don’t have to deal with a florist’s inflated prices.