The state of the local retail floral industry is one of decline in both revenue and numbers over the last 10 years. Traditional retail florists, the so-called brick and mortar (“B&M”) florists find themselves in an economic storm. Sales and profits have steadily declined while local market share has been lost to non-traditional floral retailers and national wire service companies.
An imbalance exists in the economics of sending and filling orders. The current system that favors senders over fillers is not sustainable. Florists should strive to treat the filling florist fairly so that the incoming order they receive is profitable. Florists also should work to ensure that floral consumers receive the highest possible value for their floral purchase, and that their recipient receives 100% of the value paid for. Finally, there is a remarkable lack of non-brand specific advertising to constantly remind all consumers that flowers are THE gift of choice for all occasions.
- Modernize the traditional wire order commission split to values that are more appropriate today.
- Rethink the rebate model, because high sending commissions added to sending rebates and high fees caused the economic imbalance described.
- Seek equitable order transmission systems that are fair to all parties, but discourage deceptive order gathering.
- Work to enlist the assistance of the traditional wire services in making these changes.
- Engage in partnerships with progressive floral industry service associates to provide order transmission alternatives and other products and services to help local florists remain competitive.
- Offer floral consumers an unconditional, 100% satisfaction guarantee.
- Develop mechanisms to finance non-brand specific marketing programs similar in concept to the “Got milk?” campaign of the nationwide(California) dairy industry.
Losses experienced by filling florists on wire-in orders may encourage some to not fill to 100% value or to not unconditionally stand behind their products. We all have noticed that many shops won't accept incoming orders. Send-only “florists” and deceptive advertisers often overtly take market share from local brick and mortar florists through fraudulent means. These deceptive advertisers are parasitic businesses that add unnecessary costs to wire transactions and generate unprofitable orders for the filling florists. The lack of pervasive non-brand specific floral advertising actually lowers the intrinsic value of our products and services by default. Collectively, this fosters a negative dynamic that discourages consumers from purchasing floral products, and encourages them to try other forms of gift-giving. The net result is that the entire industry suffers, and we all feel the pain.
.This is precisely why we created Florists for Change Inc. Vital to this effort is obtaining and maintaining critical mass to affect positive change in our industry. Our first step was to convene a meeting of like-minded florists in Las Vegas in August of 2011, and again in Atlanta in October of 2011. Today, we are working very diligently to build our base of Florist Members. Our FFC Associate Members have made special offers to FFCI Florist Members, and each have proposed a set of mechanisms to result in contribution to the FFCI marketing fund. We have created a set of “action committees” to build membership, engage in meaningful dialog with wire services to effect changes in their relationships with florists, eliminate deceptive advertisers, communicate with florists, and develop a non-brand specific marking fund for North American markets. A huge amount of progress has been made in a very short time period, but friends, please understand that YOUR voice and your involvement is critical to the success of this grass-roots movement. We strongly urge you to become a member and get involved. Many hands make work light! WE NEED YOU! Together, we CAN make a difference in our great industry.
It’s time! If not you, who? If not now, when?
After all, we are Florists for Change