After talking to many in the industry over the last few weeks, via my flower blog flowersandcents.com. It occurred to me that all of the talk about flower shortages and logistical problems encouraged consumers not to buy flowers. While there were many valid concerns expressed about why this is happening, the end result is that we might have shot ourselves in the foot.
It starts at the grower level warning everyone that there are issues that might affect the supply. This gets amplified by the Importers who try to encourage wholesalers to order early, securing those coveted pre-orders. The message flows up the distribution chain and the whole industry gets anxious.
As the holiday approaches national and local news organizations smell a story and descend upon the retail flower shops often seeking reasons not to buy flowers. We have all seen the reports and have to deal with this perception true or false.
While I did see some reports with retailers that took these issues all in stride, staying very positive, insisting that flowers will be plentiful and beautiful however, most were on the worried side.
I can imagine that some reading this might say. I had a great holiday, so what’s the problem? Good question.
Perhaps you might have sold more if the message was less ominous, perhaps those customers turned off by the news might have become really good customers.
The reality is that every year and every holiday present challenges that might affect prices and availability. Hurricanes, floods, volcanos, Super Bowls, lack of this or that, we have seen it all over the years. It is prudent for those at the beginning of the supply chain to alert buyers, as to what is going on the with production, but in the end, there are always flowers to be had and most will be happy.
I do not pretend that I know the solution, if there is one, but I raise this issue because I believe that the messaging that we give as an industry can make a difference in our overall sales.
I invite your comments. Send me an email or call me.