Industry Overview: Florist Shop Business

Last Updated: May 31, 2018

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. As such, we want to provide you with snapshots of the current industry overview, trends and challenges as well as provide some research resources for those interested in the florist shop business.


  • There are 3,143 florists in Canada or 8.94 per 100,000 population.
  • “Prince Edward Island (10.50) and Ontario (9.51) have the most florist shops per 100,000 population.”
  • “Nova Scotia (6.39) and New Brunswick (7.63) have the least florist shops per 100,000 population.”

Note. Source(s): CANSIM tables 552-007, 553-007 and the Data tables, 2016 Census

Number of Miscellaneous Retail Stores and Florists by Province and Territory 

The table below shows that out of all the provinces, Manitoba (12.81%), Quebec (12.53%), Alberta (12.11%), and Saskatchewan (12.04%) have the highest percentages of their Miscellaneous Retail Stores being Flower Shops in 2017, and the Yukon (4.08%), Nunavut (7.14%), and Nova Scotia (7.14%) have the lowest percentages.

Province / Territory Miscellaneous Retail Stores Florists Percentage of Miscellaneous Retail Stores that are Flower Shops
Newfoundland and Labrador 372 44 11.83%
Prince Edward Island 159 15 9.43%
Nova Scotia 826 59 7.14%
New Brunswick 543 57 10.50%
Quebec 5,892 738 12.53%
Ontario 10,862 1,279 11.77%
Manitoba 773 99 12.81%
Saskatchewan 739 89 12.04%
Alberta 2,931 355 12.11%
British Columbia 4,357 403 9.25%
Yukon 49 2 4.08%
Northwest Territories  26 2 7.69%
Nunavut 14 1 7.14%

Note. Source(s): CANSIM tables 552-007, 553-007 and the Data tables, 2016 Census

The table below shows the breakdown between employer and non-employer or indeterminate establishments for the provinces with the highest number in each category in 2016. In the Florist Industry 1,450 of the establishments were non-employers or indeterminate and 1,734 had one or more employees. Ontario, Quebec, Alberta and British Columbia had the highest number of employers and non-employers/indeterminate as shown in the table below. More information can be found by clicking on the source link below the table.

Establishments by employment type and province / territory / country (2016)
Province / Territory / Country  Employers Non-employers / Indeterminate 
Ontario 639 640
Quebec 389 358
Alberta 235 128
British Columbia 216 193
Canada 1,734 1,450

Note. Source: Businesses – Canadian Industry Statistics

"In 2016, the breakdown of employer establishments in [the florist] industry was as follows: 65.7% of them were considered micro, employing less than five employees; small establishments accounted for 34.3%; and medium-sized establishments accounted for an additional 0.1% of the total number of establishments. Large employers, those with more than five hundred persons on payroll, accounted for 0% of the total establishments" (Canadian Industry Statistics, 2018).

Based on Canadian Industry Statistics from 2016, 65.7% of the employer establishments in Canada fall within the micro employee size category (i.e. 1-4 employees), and 34.3% fall within the small employee size category (i.e. 5-99 employees).  More information about employer establishments by employer size category (i.e. micro, small, medium, large) by province/territory in Canada from 2016 can be found at Businesses – Canadian Industry Statistics.

According to 2016 Canadian Industry Statistics for the florist industry, the average revenue of incorporated businesses with a revenue range of $30,000 to $5,000,000 was $273.4 thousands of dollars; and 72.5% of businesses were profitable.

British Columbia

Based on the preceding section regarding Canadian data above, this next section will list the statistics that are relevant to British Columbia.

  • In 2016, there were 8.67 flower shops per 100,000 population in BC. This makes it the fourth highest province in Canada in terms of the number of flower shops per 100,000 population by province/territory (see chart above).
  • In 2016, 9.25% of the Miscellaneous Retail Stores in BC were flower shops (see table above). 
  • In 2016, 216 of the establishments by employer type were employers, and 193 were non-employer/indeterminate. This makes it the fourth province with the highest number of employers and non-employer/indeterminate (see table above).
  • In 2016, there were 140 micro employer establishments (i.e. 1-4 employees) in BC, and 76 small employer establishments (i.e. 5-99 employees) in BC. This makes BC the fourth highest province with employer micro and small establishments (Canadian Industry Statistics, 2018).

Industry Trends and Challenges                                           

According to a Florists-Canadian Market Research Report by IBIS World in 2017, the industry revenue has declined over the last five years due to external competition from retailers that are not included in the florist industry, such as e-commerce stores and supermarkets. It is suggested that consumers prefer the convenience and the lower prices that these alternative retailers have to offer. This report also suggests that “Improving economic conditions will encourage consumers to purchase more discretionary items" (IBIS World, 2017).

The most important success factors for the Florist Industry identified in the IBIS World report include:

  • Effective quality control
  • Ability to control stock on hand
  • Ability to attract local support/patronage

To learn more about florist industry performance, outlook, products and markets, competitive landscape, major companies, operating conditions, and key statistics, view the full IBIS World Industry Report 45311CA – Florists in Canada

Below are some resources to help you get started on your business research.


Flowers Canada Growers

Fairtrade Canada

Society of American Florists (SAF)

OFA – An Association of Floriculture Professionals

Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers

Magazines & Trade Journals

Canadian Florist Magazine

Flower Magazine

Fusion Flowers Magazine

Florist Review Magazine



Canada One – Canadian Business Directory


Federal Corporations Data Online


>> See latest flower industry – design shows, conferences, conventions, trade shows and educational sessions.

Additional Resources

If you would like to access more resources, the Florist Shop Guide is designed to help prospective and existing wedding 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, it will help you focus on what types of information you will need to gather and why it is important.


Cohen, A. (2017). IBISWorld Industry Report 45311CA Florists in Canada. IBIS World. Retrieved from

Government of Canada. (2018). Businesses - Canadian Industry Statistics. Retrieved from

Government of Canada. (2018). Summary - Canadian Industry Statistics. Retrieved from;jsessionid=0001pDILXxn8unBkBZrEl2pt5Qg:-803S94https:/;jsessionid=0001pDILXxn8unBkBZrEl2pt5Qg:-803S94

Statistics Canada. (2016). Data tables, 2016 Census. Census of Population, Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 98-400-X2016001. Retrieved from

Statistics Canada. (2018). Table 552-0007 Canadian business counts, location counts with employees, by employment size and North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), Canada and provinces, December 2017. Retrieved from

Statistics Canada. (2018). Table 553-0007 Canadian business counts, location counts without employees, by North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), Canada and provinces, December 2017. Retrieved from


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