Flower Shops Are Outdated: Here’s Why


Shocking title right? Well, the truth is flower shops are outdated and they belong in the past. In a time where consumers are conscious about their decisions and care about how their purchases will impact the environment, the traditional flower shops business model just doesn’t work anymore. While traditional flower shops used to be wonderful places where you would be able to purchase beautiful flower arrangements for your special occasions such as your wedding day or for a celebration of a special accomplishment. However, as technology has evolved and competing for big business went into the flower business the traditional flower shop model has not evolved.

Traditional flower shops have failed to leverage the technology that exists to help minimize their environmental impact and empower the local community. It has also failed to improve their delivery systems with it as more and more environmental friendly delivering methods are available that is not only beneficial for the world but also the community. Social enterprises such as Good Feet Delivery is one of these delivery platforms that is awesome not just for deliveries but empowering individuals and communities.

Facts About the Flower Shop Business Model

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Here are some facts about the traditional flower shop business model. The major benefit of having a traditional flower shop is the large selection of flowers that are available for the consumer to pick and choose. However, having such a large selection of flowers to pick from is a luxury that the world cannot sustain. Some of the fresh cut flowers that are available in flower shops contain a lot of pesticides and chemicals that are used to preserve the flowers from wild predators because they’re being grown as cash crops in certain countries around the world. This does not only has a negative impact on the environment but also the workers, florists, and you the consumer.

In addition to having to worry about chemicals and pesticides in the flowers used to grow, the process of importing flowers are extremely inefficient and bad for the environment. A lot of the flowers are packaged into cardboard boxes and require specialized refrigerated trucks to transport the flowers to the airport where they will be transferred onto airplanes that are also refrigerated to keep the flowers cool while the flowers are transported across the world to their final destinations. Once they reached their final destinations the flowers will have to once again go into a refrigerated truck to be delivered into a local supply chain where flower shop owners or bulk buyers purchase the flowers in bulk. Once the flowers are purchased they are then once again transported into smaller trucks owned by the flower shops and stored in their refrigerated fridge until someone buys the flowers. As you can see this entire process requires a lot of energy and resources that are extremely negative for the environment.

The worse case is while all of this has happened, the flower shop now has inventory that they cannot sell or could not sell fast enough as flowers have a life expectancy. So traditional flower shops will now have to decide for the unsold inventory should they throw it out or mix it in with healthier flowers and plants to sell to the unaware consumer? Most traditional flower shop opts to mix it in with other flower bouquets because this help makes the bouquet look larger and more bang for their buck, however, the consumer is not aware the life expectancy of those flowers are already short and they will die sooner. Some flower shops may not do this, they might just throw it out and mark up their other flower types so they can cover the cost of the order. Meaning you in the end either have to pay more or accept a flower bouquet that you paid in full will have half the life expectancy.

Reasons Why Flower Shops Are Expensive

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Traditional flower shops are extremely expensive to operate and maintain because of the large overhead cost that is passed onto you and other customers. Most traditional flower shops are expensive because they do not purchase directly from the flower suppliers and purchase the flowers from distributors or flower importers that make a profit from the flower shops. By purchasing flowers through this model, the flower shops are paying a premium price for the product as the distributors and importers markup the cost, which the flower shop pass on to you. In addition, flower shops have to further increase the price of the final good because they have additional overhead costs such as rent and employees to pay that is also passed on to you.

What about the supermarket flowers?

supermarket flowers
What about supermarket flowers that we all see at NoFrills, Loblaws, Sobeys, and so forth in Toronto? These flowers are super cheap, easily accessible, and some of them look just as good! They are also sourced locally as well! While this is all true, what is not told is how supermarkets leverage their economies of scale to purchase flowers from local markets in excessive bulks (more than they need or actually sell). While this model works great for them because most supermarket chains have several hundred or thousands of locations they are able to purchase in large volumes for lower prices, however, this comes at the cost of the environment.

Supermarket purchase flowers in large volumes often times more than they can sell because they are able to secure lower prices because of their purchasing power. The issue with having this business model of excessive purchase is that it becomes extremely wasteful and bad for the environment because a lot of the inventory that becomes unsold will be packed up into large garbage bags and thrown out ending up in the landfill. Every time a new shipment comes in and the flowers start to wilt while still healthy, they are thrown out because the supermarkets are overstocked and most importantly the “florists” on the spot is not specially trained to recognize that the flower is still healthy enough to be usable.

Another issue that is created by having non-professionally trained florists is that the generic bouquet that is available in all of the supermarkets look exactly the same. There is no uniqueness to the flower design. This is because the supermarket flower is not designed by any expert florists that went through proper training to receive their certifications. The flower bouquets arrive as is in pre-packaged bouquet arrangements and the flowers are put on display in buckets or if the supermarket invested in a flower fridge.

Since most supermarkets do not hire professionally trained florists, this is where their flower quality and attention to details in the floral designs are different from traditional flower shops or places like us where we specialize only in flowers and plants. The florists from local flower shops and from us are trained to spot the quality of the flowers, the health levels, how to maintain their health, what type of flowers are in season and which one pairs the best for growth. There are so many complexities involved in a basic flower arrangement that nobody sees because our job is to make sure you don’t see the complexities and just enjoy a beautiful well thought out flower arrangement.

How We Stand Out

Great you listed a whole bunch of problems how are you guys different? Well first let’s tackle the first problem that traditional flower shop experiences. We avoid wasteful and complicated logistics by going straight to the source, this cuts out the middleman and we get a better price and higher quality good that last much longer with less environmental impact.

Okay, but how can you sell the flowers cheaper than the traditional flower shops? We can sell our flowers below most traditional flower shops because we don’t have a middleman in our supply chain and we also don’t have premium retail space with large overhead cost. Our business model revolves around just in time philosophy, we don’t carry inventory or stock we only purchase what we need based on how much orders we receive every time.

Fine, but your flowers are still more expensive than supermarket market flowers. While this is true, we also provide a level of expertise and service that is not available from the supermarkets. Our florist is specially trained and certified in flower design and they understand what type of flower is in season and what works with what. Our flowers also include free same day shipping in 4 hours flat to downtown Toronto (any postal code starting with M) with a custom note card with your message delivered to your doorsteps at your preferred time. Oh, did we also mentioned how awesome our couriers are? Our couriers are special because they empower the local communities and use environmentally friendly transportation services like public transit compared to traditional flower shops that use a refrigerated delivery van.

In short, when you shop flowers with us, we’re cheaper than traditional flower stores but more expensive than supermarket flowers because of the aforementioned reasons. However, when you purchase from us you’re doing more than buying flowers, you’re also empowering the local economy and strengthening the local communities and making the environment a better place.

What’s the Verdict?

While traditional flower shops are still great places to explore and support, there are alternative ways to purchase beautiful flower arrangements that benefit everyone including the environment and you! With the power of the internet, consumers are more inclined to make sure their purchases are not only the best bang for their buck but is also environmentally friendly and empowers their local communities. At Flowers In The Box we strive to make it so that everyone wins in this transaction, from the environment to the local communities and most importantly you! Our ultimate goal is to make sure you receive beautiful well thought out flower designs and plant arrangements that are is obtained in a responsible manner and delivered to your doorsteps in the most impactful way possible.