Why do flowers cost so much? 5 Factors That Drive Up Costs for Traditional Florists
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Friday, October 11, 2013

Why do flowers cost so much? 5 Factors That Drive Up Costs for Traditional Florists

Why are flowers so expensive from local florists? They're a perishable product, and they certainly don't last forever. Flowers are often an emotional-based purchase -- whether they're for a birthday, wedding, anniversary, or 'just because,' the market in North America is just used to paying exhorbinant amounts. But people generally like to make nice gestures,

There are a number of reasons why local florists charge so much; let's explore a bit, go over some of those reasons, and show you why Bloomex is better.

1. Importers

The vast majority of fresh cut flowers sold for use in Canada and the United States are grown in Central and South America, in places like Ecuador, and especially Colombia. Importers arrange transit to North America. The cost of importation and transit means that those costs are passed on to the next step of the buying chain.

2. Wholesalers

Wholesalers (or 'buyers') buy vast amounts of flowers. They are either working on behalf of local flower shops, or have agreements in place for distribution to them. Florists buy bulk amounts of flowers from the wholesalers, but pay more than the wholesaler paid to the importer for the flowers.

3. Florists

The local mom-and-pop florist shop, in turn, needs to make a margin on the amount that they paid to the wholesaler for the flowers. And with a little bit of ribbon, and a bit of type spent on arrangement, those margins can be substantial. Florists take the raw products and turn them into bouquets and arrangements, which, as mentioned, people are used to paying a premium for.

The other consideration is that a majority of local florist operations are affiliated with wire-services -- you know, the big guys that you call on the phone to place an order. Those wire-services essentially farm out the orders to the closest local florists... and, of course, charge the florist a fee for getting the order. More costs passed on to the consumer.

4. Brick-and-mortar operations

Businesses have got to be where the people are, and for many, that means expensive leases or rents in highly populated urban areas. That doesn't come cheap: in smaller cities like Halifax, that can mean about $70 per square foot, and in bigger centres like Vancouver and Toronto, retailers in some areas pay up to $200-$300 per square foot for space. Those costs are burdensome to small businesses, who have to charge their customers more to offset the cost of being in a decent location.

5. Staffing and competition

Say a local florist has two full-time as well as a couple of part-time employees. In quieter months for buying flowers, such as July and August, for example, they're still 'responsible' for those people's livelihoods, regardless of the fact that the floral industry as a whole is prone to huge peaks and deep valleys in terms of the amount of business they see. In a small operation, with a low volume of sales, those costs add up.

So how is Bloomex better? Let's take a look at the ways:

blog image
An example of the price difference between
'wire service' florists and Bloomex.
1. Bloomex doesn't employ the use of importers or wholesalers. We buy our flowers directly from the growers, and our position as Canada's biggest florist gives us excellent buying power. There's no one else taking cuts along the way, so we're able to offer lower prices to our customers.

2. Being an online and phone-based operation, Bloomex has no need to maintain extensive storefront space. We own our own production facilities, strategically placed in urban centres throughout the nation, and ship directly to our customers' doors.

3. We have centralized sales and customer service operations, so we don't pay anyone a cut for the blessing of receiving an order. We take the order and we fulfill it, reducing the costs you'd pay through the other guys.

4. With a large volume of sales, our cost of doing business is much lower, in a relative sense, than that of local florists.

These are the reasons that Bloomex is able to offer such great value for customers in Canada, the United States and Australia. Our model is very different -- and it works.

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