Over the last few days we have talked to a wide range of florists in different states to get their impression of how they see Mother’s Day and the market in general.
There is a significant difference between the views in the southern states versus those in Queensland.
Trading conditions in the Southern States for many florists has been quite subdued since Valentine’s Day. In general most shops expect it to be a good Mother’s Day – while others say they need it to be!
Queensland generally seems to be very positive and is expecting a strong Mother’s Day. Many Queensland shops are experiencing growth after several difficult years.
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Some Australian Flower Businesses Growing Nicely
From Tesselaars perspective of the market, it would appear that after several years of weaker shops losing market share and closing down, the remaining shops that have maintained a high level of product quality and customer service have consolidated their position and are now able to take advantage of the market as it improves.
We spoke to one such business manager, Natalie from Poppies Florist Cafe in Hope Island, Queensland.
“We’re in a Marina. It’s been a bit quiet since Valentine’s Day because it’s been raining a lot up here and people don’t go out when it rains!
“Mother’s Day is always bigger for us than Valentine’s Day because we are situated near Sanctuary Cove so we have a lot of retirees around our area – the median house price around here is about $4million so not many young families.
It’s All in the Prep
“I work really long hours so that I’m ready for Mother’s Day. We hire extra staff. We get everything based-up and ready to go so that come Saturday we’re pretty much whacking flowers in rather than starting from scratch.
“We go through orders to make sure we’re all ready because some people like their flowers delivered on Saturday rather than the Sunday. Most of our deliveries either go to restaurants or very elaborate private residences. Basically the minimum order that people place in this area is $100 and upwards.
“The biggest challenge we have for Mother’s Day would be the weather. If it’s a fine day it’s great, if it’s raining it’s a pain in the neck for our delivery people because it’s really hard to see house numbers!
“Apart from that we have a smooth operation here, it’s all in the prep. We’ve already lined up couriers and extra staff to help. The juniors that come in have set jobs during the week and on the weekend – they’re just answering phones and taking orders. We have set people that do that job so that we get the right information and the right flowers get to the right people at the right time.
“I’ve been in the industry a long time, if you’re not prepared it all falls apart. It’s that simple.
“We do marketing in and around our area (for Mother’s Day). Letterbox drops & pamphlets. We send out flyers with our orders. We use the Interflora ones that are specifically for Mothers Day and we have our own specific marketing materials for Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day – and Easter ones that we send out with orders to encourage people to think past chocolate – think flowers instead!
Honouring the Mother of All – Planet Earth
Of course some florist’s Mother’s Day realities differ from the norm – for example one florist we spoke to said that as she only does weddings, she finds Mother’s Day to be a pest as some suppliers do not stock everything she needs during this time while they focus on the Mother’s Day demand.Another florist, Anja of World of Flowers in busy Southbank, Brisbane, also has a very different take on Mother’s Day and indeed, floristry in general.
“The thing is what we are doing for Mother’s Day is we honour the Mother of All – that is the Earth. To honour the Mother of All, that is what it’s all about and what floristry is all about – keeping people connected with nature.”
She also said that “We have in Southbank, the Mother’s Day Fun Run, so something like twenty thousand mothers finish their runs in front of our door!”
Suffice to say, Anja says this is good for business and in order to prepare she has “to be very disciplined”. She has systems in place already for her high turnover florist-cum-cafe and despite her shop’s free flowing, New Age style and philosophy, she runs a tight ship.
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