Do You Know Where Your Valentine's Day Flowers Are Coming From?

Do you know where your flowers are coming from? Here are three good reasons to order from your local florist.

As we are less than two weeks away from Valentine's Day, I thought this might be of interest to our readers. There has been an industry struggle over the past few years in regards to local florists and the national wire services (Teleflora, FTD, etc).

Many people don't realize that when they order flowers or gift from these wire services as opposed to directly from the local businesses, the following happens:

The local florist that is filling the order is only receiving 40 percent of that sales transaction from the big box wire services. They are essentially losing money on many orders that come through this system, but at a time when floral shop sales are down, they take what they can get.  

The photo that most people see on wire service websites is not what your recipient will receive. The photo on the website is obviously created to draw the person in to make the purchase and is often showed at the "maximum bloom point." The maximum bloom point is the point where a fresh floral arrangement opens to full bloom and it is nearing the point where the flowers will no longer look fresh in just a few days to follow. When people receive the actual order, they are usually much fresher (but the flowers are slightly more closed) than what is pictured to ensure that they last longer. This does tend to upset people as they think that are getting ripped off by not getting exactly what is pictured on the website.  

Also, many large wire services work out of local warehouses during the busy holiday times. These arrangements are created in an assembly line style by people with little to no floral design experience. Or with some companies like 1-800 Flowers, they are often sent via UPS or Fedex to the recipient in no water and are not the greatest quality as they are tossed around in a delivery truck. 

When you order from a local floral shop, you are working directly with the professional designers who will create the gift for your recipient because they have a passion for the business and for the art of floral design. As you shop around for the best Valentine's Day gift, remember to support your local businesses. They are here to help you and look forward to creating a great gift for your recipient on this romantic holiday and the others throughout the year.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Avenging Angel February 05, 2013 at 11:37 PM
How do you feel about flowers from Pick & Save?
Flower interest February 06, 2013 at 12:21 AM
Not the quality as your local florist would provide
Mr Lundt February 06, 2013 at 12:29 AM
Hard to see that answer coming.
mainstreet February 06, 2013 at 12:51 AM
You said, "The local florist that is filling the order is only receiving 40 percent of that sales transaction from the big box wire services. They are essentially losing money on many orders that come through this system, but at a time when floral shop sales are down, they take what they can get" I call BS. If they aren't making money on it why do it? So what if sales are down, You still don't do business to lose money!
Jamie Foshey February 06, 2013 at 12:59 AM
MainStreet- I should clarify this statement. When it's a holiday time, the cost of flowers for a florist goes up. For example, the cost per rose doubles and sometimes triples in cost. The problem is that the wire services push discounts and do not raise the everyday arrangement price by much. This is where the florist ends up at a point where they can lose money. They have to hire additional help, be open longer hours and overall cover most costs during a holiday time. The thought process behind the wire services is that the customer will order from the wire service website. The florist will fill the order with the hopes of creating a long term relationship with that customer and in turn the customer will order directly from the florist in the future without going through the wire service. Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn't. It's a gamble.
Jamie Foshey February 06, 2013 at 01:00 AM
Local florists get flowers from all over the world. In the Milwaukee area alone, there are 6 large floral wholesale houses that sell directly to the florist.
Jamie Foshey February 06, 2013 at 01:02 AM
Flowers from grocery stores can actually turn out to be ok. I started my floral design career at a local grocery store and saw the potential. As a customer, I would encourage you to ask the floral department clerk about the freshness of the flowers on display. If you ask, they are more likely to pull the freshest flowers out of a back cooler for you simply because you asked.
$$andSense February 06, 2013 at 01:12 AM
I have been told that at least roses that are sold this time of year in the midwest are flown in from central and south america, where it is now summer south of the equator. Roses are perennials and are typically grown outside, not in greenhouses. Could be wrong. I love buying my wife roses, lots of them. Clip the stems at a 45 degree angle when you buy them and every other day with a sharp scissors, and change out the water every time and use the fertilizer packets they provide. Sunlight helps them unfold and pick off the outside dead petals as they appear but do not put the roses in direct sunlight as it will accelerate their life.
Cheryl Muskus February 07, 2013 at 04:05 AM
I own a local flower shop in Oak Creek and I would like to respond to the comments first hand. Our shop is a growing shop and very involved in the Oak Creek community. I do not believe that the sales are declining. We do not try to compete against the Pick n Saves or Sendiks. Yes it is difficult to explain to the consumers about the deceptive practices of the websites that claim to be in our community when in fact they are order gathers. These websites charge the consumers premium up charges at checkout that we would never think of charging and then send those orders to our flower shop for delivery. Our mission is simple and we cater to our community and our customers first. If it means that we refuse FTD and pro flowers orders I do not not have a problem with it. My recommendation is to get to know your local flower shop.
Steve ® February 07, 2013 at 04:23 AM
Mr Lundt February 07, 2013 at 04:27 AM
Cheryl Thank you for a voice of reason.
Steve ® February 07, 2013 at 04:48 AM
The ground?
Steve ® February 07, 2013 at 04:51 AM
Pro flowers sucks but their shipments don't necessarily come from a "warehouse". They ND air from various growers. Think of them more of a middle man with ads and a website. Don't expect much up here, the cold fries the bouquets most years.
Bottom Line February 07, 2013 at 05:51 AM
FTD and Telefloral are conduits for Florists around the Nation. If someone in Dallas wants to "wire" flowers to their mother in Milwaukee, they go to their local Florist and put in their order. The Florist contacts the "recommended" Florist of the month in Milwaukee (or they call who they know) to satisfy the order. Jamie isn't incorrect, but by reviewing incoming orders alone it appears the Florist is short sheeted. Not true. For good Florists the incoming and outgoing orders balance. It is a wash. If not, you might ask yourself why you aren't inviting business in your area ... since the inbound were gathered by others. It's your challenge to get the outbound orders. I am surprised anyone "wires" flowers anymore. In the "old days" it was done because it would've been challenging to locate a Florist, and there would've been a long distance charge and difficulty in coordinating payment. Most of those obstacles have been removed with current technology. As to the price ... everyone should realize it is regulated by supply and demand. The odd thing with flowers is that demand is oblivious to growing seasons ... purely emotional ... so cost varies wildly, and most consumers will simply pay the market price, since it isn't a recurring expense (like groceries).
Bottom Line February 07, 2013 at 06:03 AM
Cheryl ... I wish you well in your endeavor. My family (while not any longer) was in the Floral and Greenhouse business for over 50 years. You seem to realize that you aren't competing with the "high volume" merchandisers ... and you shouldn't. You cannot compete for business that disregards the personal attention you can bring. Connect with your clients, give them the personal attention they will find more valuable than the savings. Most Florists cannot compete anymore, because the competition has developed ways to reduce cost that make your effort less recognizable. It is only when you create a bond with your customers, and they sense their importance to you that you will gain a dedicated customer base. I wish you well ... your challenge is greater than when I was engaged as a Florist due to the changes over time.
Bob McBride February 07, 2013 at 01:27 PM
Fortunately we've got a number of florists in my area. I've got a picky customer (horticulturist by trade) and I don't know a weed from...well...another weed. So I always need a lot of help. Through trial and error I've managed to find a couple of florists who seem to be able to figure out and understand what she likes, despite my lack of knowledge. There's no way I could get away with dealing with 1-800-FLOWERS, or the like, or attempting to pick out something on my own at a grocery store.
Cheryl Muskus February 07, 2013 at 08:46 PM
Thank you for your comments. On a positive note, I would like to add that The CarmelRose Florist is part of "Florists for Change". This is a group of florists that are dedicated to the Retail Floral buy local Movement. The florists that are part of this group bypass FTD and Teleflora when possible and it is a great group of florists that believe that the industry must break away from the wire services. FTD and Teleflora are a FEE BASED company. Their charges are most of the time horrendous for the florist. Enjoy Flowers!!!!!!! They will brighten your day!
Jamie Foshey February 07, 2013 at 08:51 PM
Cheryl- Thank you for your comments. As owner of Leaves Floral Design & Gift Boutique in Muskego, I have also joined "Florists for Change". I was so impressed by the group and the dedication to supporting local florists that are often overwhelmed by wire services charges. Such a great organization!
William February 10, 2013 at 06:43 PM
This discussion was helpful. I will buy something other than flowers from now on.


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