Having seen the cutbacks made by the corporate sector in 2008/2009 , a wry smile came across my face when I read an article from the Oxford Times. Their headline cried out‘ Floral displays go as council cuts £2.7m’ expecting the readers to think that their council spent that much on flowers & plants !
But seriously the flower trade in general has had it`s first real recession, where both corporate & retail sectors have seen their trade shrink as both companies and the public reign back spending. However much the press & especially the florist trade press try to convince us that volumes of fresh flowers are increasing into the UK all I hear from retailers & wholesalers alike is that volumes are well down since the peak of 2008. I know it does not help in the fact that the major multiples have made severe inroads into the florist trade traditional market, but their is one thing that they are unable to do which if they ever acheive will be the final nail in the trades coffin……provide a service !! While they may be able to sell flowers or get flowers delivered by post(Usually half dead)they cannot provide that bespoke service that the independent florist can, because it does not fit into their productivity costings verses sales. If they ever are able to work that one out then I am afraid the florists will go the way of the high streets other dinosaurs the greengrocer, butchers & fishmonger.