READY FOR VALENTINE’S 2016? LISTEN TO LAST YEAR!
It’s probably safe to say that at Valentine’s, florists have the upper hand. Waitrose et al might try to nestle in with their £40 ‘Dozen Scented Roses Gift Box’ but Feb 14th is the day when everyone and his dog is expected (or hoped!) to go the extra mile, and so often that means taking a sharp turn at the supermarket entrance. So we took a look at what you – our florist readers – told us* following last year’s second biggest peak so you can prepare for what we hope will be another runaway romance in 2016.
Whilst everybody knows the gift has to be special, it seems it doesn’t have to be different. An earlier survey by LoveSales.com showed so-called cliché gifts were still hitting the top most-wanted spot with a romantic meal at number one, flowers in sixth place, chocolates coming eighth, oh and simply having a partner at number fourteen, falling just ahead of perfume.
So whilst it’s easy to get carried away comparing supermarket prices, with so many punters searching out their local florist come February, your key competitors are more likely to be alternate gifts than other flower-sellers.
Here’s what you had to say last year.
Crucially, don’t panic if sales are slow to take off. This is a last minute event with huge numbers of dash-and-go buys. Last year 26% of you said pick up was slow, but 36% had far more walk-in trade than in previous years so as always, having ready-mades right up to the bitter end is key.
You told us that red roses were much more popular than previously. Whilst you might be surprised to hear they can actually get any more popular at Valentine’s, we reckon this still leaves the gates wide open for 2016 – will it be another red rose wipe-out or could red tulips and ranunculus make a little more leeway?
Despite last Valentine’s falling on a Saturday which usually sees a drop in turnover, 51% of you said you saw an increase in turnover, 30% said last year’s turnover was on an even par with the year before, and 19% saw a decrease. A dozen short red roses were the best-selling design, followed by a single red, with the mixed hand-tied coming in at last place.
Lots of you (30%) restocked twice because orders were higher than expected – something to bear in mind whilst scheduling – though the increase seemed to be mostly local orders rather than relay for those of you who are members.
With the season of romance only just approaching there’s still time to oomph up the V-day marketing, since last year
30% of you offered a free delivery incentive and loads of you sent us other ideas including…
£10 off a dozen reds if ordered by 5th February/ Collection only
Automatic discount on all online orders placed before 8th February
Half price delivery if opting for drop-off during the days prior to Valentine’s
Free vase with a dozen luxury red roses
Prize draw on a bottle of fizz for customers ordering before your chosen cut-off date
Free balloon on all pre-ordered collects
10% discount to database customers before your cut-off date
A discount voucher in conjunction with a local gift shop
A free single red rose if customers spend over your chosen amount
And our favourite… one florist added a packet of Rolo’s wrapped with red ‘I Love You’ ribbon to their orders!
All in all, the advice from The Florist team is don’t panic if it’s slow to start, stay positive because Valentine’s is always a last-minute dash – schedule accordingly, avoid all-nighters wherever possible and just make sure every order is as special as the last… oh, and pizza, did we mention pizza?!
And if you hit any flack, take note of these wise words from the Flower and the Glory in Rochdale, “I understand that at times cheaper supermarket flowers are what people want but nevertheless it got me thinking. From Lidl you get a bunch of short, low grade flowers assembled by machine on a conveyer belt.
“From the Flower and the Glory you get top quality high grade flowers, hand prepared and selected for long vase life. In addition, you have the benefit of florists qualified to the highest level in both design and product knowledge. We have invested heavily in professional equipment to keep your flowers at the optimum temperature and condition using the best quality flower solutions. We work hard to ensure that your flowers will fit the occasion for which you need them and will go the extra mile to give you full satisfaction.”
*All florist stats taken from The Florist magazine’s 2015 post-Valentine’s survey.