The Future of the Floral Industry

The Future of the Floral Industry

Where the Floral Industry is Headed

You talk to anybody in the floral industry and you receive many different responses as to where they think the industry is going next. Half of the flower shops owners believe retail shops will continue to be viable well into the foreseeable future. And the other half of shop owners believe that yes, retail shops will stay relevant, but only to those owners who can keep up with the changing technologies and have the ability to cater to the new wave of flower buyers (millennials). More and more have decided to become studio florists and cut out the retail location completely, focusing on loyal customers to maintain their business. Both of these routes are workable and profitable. What is undeniable, is the industry is undergoing a rapid change. By riding this new wave, florists can maintain relevance and reach a whole new level of profitability.

New Floral Technology Developments

Will mobile apps, mobile POS systems and a heavier reliance on e-commerce be the way of the future for the floral industry? Looking around at other sectors, the answer is undeniably yes. There is always resistance to change, but looking objectively, one can conclude there are many benefits to the changing technologies:

Speed and Efficiency

Arrangement/Delivery Accountability

Inventory Management Control (including wholesale)

Lower Operational Cost

Larger Overall Margin

Affordable Pricing Models

The bottom line is there will always be a portion of the population that will want to do things the “old school” way -- walk-ins, taking orders on carbon copies etc, but the new generation of customer is more tech-savvy and unfortunately, less socially inclined to walk into a store and engage with a shop owner. Not all change is progress, but in this industry, it just might be.

Larger Picture

The floral industry is one of those industries that is greatly affected by booms and busts in the economy. It’s no mystery that when consumers have less disposable income they tend to only focus on necessities rather than additional expenditures. Since the industry lives and dies by special occasions, events and major holidays, florists rely on consumers buying during specific times to keep themselves afloat for when the summer hits and the downturn inevitably begins. Since 2007, the landscape of the industry has changed. Florists in every city remark that there used to be double the amount of shops in town and everybody was getting a piece of the pie. Many shops have closed and, subsequently, here’s what has happened:

1) Wire services lost considerable revenue and had to concoct a way to generate more

2) Fees and penalties increased on wire service members

3) Surviving florists were squeezed out of any chance of a decent profit


It’s encouraging to see many florists dropping the wire services and taking their business into their own hands. Many new startups are trying to fill the void that is left when dropping the wire services, but most have missed the mark. What florists need, both new school and old, is a low cost platform in which to run their business effectively without the high costs and low morale that exists now. The way things operate now are simply unsustainable, unprofitable, and disincentivizing for anyone trying to make a decent living going forward. Big change and improvement to an industry we all love is coming soon.

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  • Joe Arrigo
Comments 6
  • Amir

    It is not just the wire companies that sucking our blood. Those so-called order gatherers who try to fool the consumers by placing ads in every city and pretend to be local store are the ones stealing from us, mom and pop shop owners.

  • Pamela

    The wire service is our biggest competor and we pay then we need to call the attorney general

  • Pamela

    The wire service is our biggest competor and we pay then we need to call the attorney general

  • Elizabeth Ramirez
    Elizabeth Ramirez

    Wow…this blog took the words right out of my mouth! Just last week we made that very change, converting to a studio format with a super flexible POS system and no more wire service! The biggest challenge is getting the word out to our faithful clientele that we are still there for them, in fact sometimes better than before. The conversion feels weird, and will take some time, but in the end I think it’s the only way we will survive in this business. We just can’t support the brick and mortar with 1 to 2 walk-ins per day.

  • DIrk LOrenz
    DIrk LOrenz
    I agree with most everything you’ve said in your commentary above this comment What it does not say up to this point is how floral tab can keep the florist relevant in this changing market Continue to read to find out where you address this with your solution
  • ingrid

    I think the old school general florist shops are fading and being replaced with specialist services that are now being sought after and made popular and affordable via social media. Flowers are now readily available to the public from many retail outlets that are not florists. Even the flower markets now sell to the public with very little mark up to the public.

    The trend now for florist businesses to survive is to specialize, either in weddings and events, high end artistic presentation or as an adjunct to other retail sales such as gifts, nursery products, coffee shops and of course finding the perfect location next to a hospital, funeral parlour etc.

    The relay services are struggling to compete with direct international sales made easy by today’s technology. Florists are turning away from relay service memberships because they are unable to meet their demands and make a profit. I believe these services will die out as the new technology savvy generation takes over.

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