Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Truth Behind Valentine's Day prices

This article is simply to help the consumer understand what drives prices up at Valentines day (and no, it's not because florists are evil, greedy, business owners) and why there is a price gap between big retailers and smaller family owned businesses. 
            According to Society of American Florists (2007), 214 million roses are produced to fill the demand in the US alone.
            Everything starts with supply and demand.  Demand in February goes up for red roses and the supply must meet that demand
            Growers do not plant more rose crops for this holiday. Starting in November/December, growers pinch back,  literally “throwing away “ immature roses to encourage plant to bloom in February.  Labor /equipment costs triple/quadruple at harvest time.
            Airlines: flights are full of boxed roses from SA to Miami, but empty or near empty return flights, airlines charge round trip fares to recoup the loss on return flight, so growers are paying roundtrip freight.

           All of these additional costs are factored in, driving the price to triple what a retailer would normally pay.  We can only charge what the market will bear, so sometimes we are even charging less than what we “should” to cover our product costs, labor, overhead, etc be in order to move product.
          Weather can also affect pricing, if too much flooding occurs, etc, lessens amount of flowers available, driving up cost.
          Difference between local florist and franchise “big box” retailers?  They order in huge quantities for hundreds or thousands of stores from the same sources, they receive bulk discounts that local florist cannot match.
         When you order from national companies, your tax dollars are not being spent locally.  They are surcharging you, promising a price, then turning around and calling a local florist to fill order as they are just “order gatherers” and not actual flower shops.

         The difference in quality comes into play once the flowers receive their retail destination.  An independent flower shop’s staff is trained with years of experience on how to properly care and handle fresh flowers.  They are also able to pass on their education to you, the consumer, on how to properly care for your flowers once you get them home.  They will also package your flowers and plants to protect them from the elements once you leave the store.  Fresh flowers cannot withstand temperatures below 36 degrees. Green plants, 55 degrees.  Blooming plants 40-55 degrees

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