“The local florist market has been shrinking for years,” said Eric Beder, managing director of Brean Capital. “And after 2008 and 2009 it accelerated. It’s very difficult for local florists to make it work, especially with the Internet and people no longer shopping” on Main Street.
According to Beder, the rise of online giants has contributed to the demise of small suppliers for several reasons, including their diverse and specialized product offerings.
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“1-800 Flowers did a really solid job. After the economy slowed in 2008 and 2009, they consolidated their operations [and] refocused the product so that they no longer sell just basic flowers, but sell unique, value-added products. “
Some customers also buy flowers online for potential savings.
“[Buying online] saves money in terms of shipping costs and… not having to pay a middleman, ”said Beder.
Wholesale flower markets, big box stores and supermarkets also gained shares.
It’s more convenient to go to your “grocery store, your BJ, your Wal-Mart, and buy there rather than a local florist because it’s… on your way,” Beder said.
The perishability of the product makes ordering and inventory control particularly important to the small retailer.