Running a small business is very hard work. And a constant battle of Profit over Costs. So every flower we sell has to cover:
delivery charges from our suppliers
utilities (water sewer electric phones internet)
floral chemicals (processing chemical, storage chemical)
tissue/wrapping paper for the flowers (carry out )
...and the list goes on. That is a lot of expenses that take a chunk out of the "pie". Not to mention our product is perishable. If we don't sell it, it gets thrown away. If you look at the list above, that's not just the flower cost we are throwing away but the potential to pay bills. Every flower shop owner's goal is to run out versus throw it away. That is why it virtually impossible to carry every type and color of flower known to man in the store at all times.
Our costs are higher than the big box stores on product alone. Most big box stores carry a wide variety of other products producing profits and covering their costs, flowers are just another item to sell. Big box retailers are ordering hundreds of BOXES of roses (for example) where as the small store is only ordering 1 to 2 bunches. A bunch of roses has 25 stems. A box contains 150-250 rose stems. Big Box retailers are buying at such a high volume/quantity the growers are giving them a better price. That is why grocery stores charge less than small business owners.
I am running a rose special this week. I got a box of roses versus 1-2 bunches. The grower dictated what colors I received in the box, I didn't know what colors until I opened it. The stems are 40cm long instead of 50-60cm. (you pay more for longer stems...longer stems equals more weight, more weight equals higher freight costs) This is why I am able to offer a sale on the roses. I try to run specials when I can but the mixed boxes are not always offered, or not offered at a price that makes them a "deal" .
A little information on what drives pricing on flowers from a small business prospective.