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A florist shop is a retail establishment that sells cut flowers and ornamental plants. The floral trade involves activities such as flower care, flower arranging, floral design, merchandising, and often flower delivery. Florist shops are an ever popular industry and one of the most searched guides on our website. As such, we want to provide you with a current industry overview, trends and challenges as well as provide some research resources for those interested in the florist shop business.
Flower Shop Industry Overview
According to Canadian Industry Statistics (2013), BC accounts for 13.1% of the total establishments of the florist shop businesses in Canada. That makes BC the 3rd province after Ontario (1st) and Quebec (2nd) to thrive in the business. The statistics also showed that most of the florist shop businesses in BC are considered micro (fewer than five employees) or small (fewer than 100 employees) sized. With continuous ups and downs, the industry is still going strong. As mentioned by a florist business based in Nanaimo, BC. in the State of the Industry report (SOI) by Canadian florist, there is a segment of the market showing growth potential. The businesses, which are marketing themselves by sending small thank-you gifts to clients, have been successful and are thus stepping up their sales.
After the 2009 recession period, the industry experienced some bumps in the roads. In the 2010 SOI report, Arman Patel, then Flowers Canada Retail executive director, reported a lot of businesses being closed down. Fast forward to four years, SOI 2014 reports that although consumers have been wary about the number of floral purchases they make, sales averages have been creeping up. Based on revenues and expenses, the pre-tax profit margin in the florists industry grew by 2.1% from 2002 to 2011. SOI also mentioned that Canada is faring better than its neighbours to the south and the industry as a whole is doing well through the ups and downs of a roller coaster style economy.
Industry Trends and Challenges
An article by Britt Burnham in Canadian Florist highlights some of the key floral industry trends for 2014. Internet and specifically social media has led to unrealistic expectations among customers to get fabulous trendsetting floral designs and expecting it to be available at a very low price. So, it is the job of the florist to educate their customers about the misconceptions. As Canada been growing less flowers for some years now, it can be hard to find locally grown products. The article suggests that florists supporting local growers more and campaigns such as "Flowerful BC" can help solve the problem. This can mean that the prices will be high for local products and florists will need to adjust their budget accordingly. On the bright side, it is being said that the Canadian economy will improve by 2.5% in 2014 (>> See full report), which will mean more wealth, more spending and increased housing demand, and hopefully more flower demand.
One of the main challenges presented by this year's SOI report is the lack of relationship building with other florist businesses as well as marketing oneself in the community they work in. This can easily be turned over as simply as "delivering a welcome to the community arrangement when a new business opens its doors in the neighborhood". A lot of florist shops are teaming up with complementary local businesses such as rental and catering companies to offer expanded services to clients. Many florists also run workshops as a way to create customer relationships. Building relationships with customers is an important factor as word of mouth is likely to be florist's biggest source of business.
Top resources to help you get started on your business research
- Flowers Canada Retail
- Canadian Ornamental Plant Foundation (COPF)
- Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers (ASCFG)
Magazines & Trade Journals
If you would like to access more resources, the Florist Shop Business Accelerator Guide is designed to help prospective and existing florist business owners gather information for their secondary market research. The guide is broken down into four main sections that cover how to start your research, industry information, competitive information and customer information. Depending on your needs you can spend as much or as little time as necessary in each section.
If you find that you need more guidance before starting your secondary research, check out our Business Research Basics Guide, it will help you focus on what types of information you will need to gather and why it is important.