1) It came early and died off
2) It was so quiet then it came on late
That concerns me as those who marketed with ads, radio/TV, and with at least 2 drops using inserts in the paper said it was overall the best holiday in years! I have to agree with that. This isn’t about bragging, it is about sharing the truth. The truth is MANY florists did very well and won’t toot their own horn. I say, TOOT! Share the good news. I am glad to hear others did well too. Of all the shops I spoke to other than us, Allen’s Flowers in San Diego will also be open Christmas Day. That’s dedication. This doesn’t mean everyone has to do it. I open because it is a day I reflect on 25 years that started right here in a 1,000 square foot store. We started being open 365 days a year and today, 25 years later, I will be in. Even if just for a few hours, I will never forget where I came from.
This year was the inaugural year of the floralapp® which enabled us to share industry leading technology with florists across the nation. Florists got into their customer’s cell phones before the competition did. The day I heard that Phoebe Floral had developed an app for $8900.00 for iPhone only, I realized we can do this if we get enough people together. Today at just $995.oo we made it affordable for florists to have this technology available to their customers at a price everyone can afford. Thanks to all the florists who joined, you helped make it happen.
The first quarter of 2012 we have some great upgrades in store for all. From reminder programs to a gallery feature that is totally interactive with your shop, the best is yet to come. Even better there is NO additional cost. You all get it for FREE! Some florists really saw an abundance of orders. It seemed that those who marketed it saw lots of downloads and orders. If you ever called Trias in Miami, you will see why it is no wonder she is one of the most active in orders as the floralapp® value and convenience is being reminded to her customers consistently on her phone. It is just one more reason for someone to shop local, what was your reason? We all need to be sure customers have every reason to shop local that makes you unique!
The other was the 1st edition Spode. The sales for this item came on strong at the end. I will agree the picture did not do it justice as the actual piece was so big and beautiful many shops had people come in for just the train itself. We codified everyone on http://www.localflowershop.com so it was easy for everyone to find each other. Anyone who got the train agreed it was a big difference in value when you actually saw it. It wasn’t a container. It was clearly a beautiful gift complimented with flowers. Even better it was numbered.
Next, we will have the 2nd edition coming next year. We will also give you copy to mail to everyone who purchased this year to reserve their train for next year. People love to collect. I had one customer order 3 in Long Beach. Since we did not have a shop there, she said to mail them to her in California and SHE would take it to her shop to design. Then, she took 4 more to give away as gifts, AND a deposit for next year. She wants the collection.
The shops we send 1 and 2 to as well to fill orders ended up ordering 6 and 12. Let’s face it, with minimum order amounts of just 12, how can you afford NOT to have this on hand? Check if it is available in your area, the exclusives are growing fast. Several shops were turned away as the markets were taken. Shops like Riverdale were sold-out early, as well as Mancusos and others across the USA. Markets like Atlanta, Phoenix, Seattle, Wilmington, Miami, St Louis and so many more are already exclusive. If you have the opportunity to secure this line and get listed on http://www.conforticollection.com please let us know.
A trusted source and friend at UPS said that a year ago Pro Flowers was their #3 customer and not on the radar this year. People have been burned and it looks like local has a greater chance than ever if we can all adapt the YES WE CAN attitude and make it happen. Customers are why we are here, let’s never forget that.
As we close out 2011, I find we have more opportunity than ever in 2012!
Wishing you all a very Happy Holiday season and good health for the New Year,
Arthur F. Conforti