Planning, Prepping, and Succeeding for the Big Day!

by Jonathan Morrissey

The single busiest day in the floral industry is not won in any flower shop on February 14th. As with any successful business, planning, stats and preparation are vital to the success of an “all hands on deck” holiday in the floral industry. Gifting holidays such as Christmas, Easter, Valentine’s Day, and Mother’s require much detail in preparing for the big day. Each holiday has a different strategy, mindset, and feel. May is the single busiest month of the year in a flower shop, but it has a different overall strategy than the single busiest day, which of course, is Valentine’s Day.

            Planning for Valentine’s Day occurs the day after Christmas and lasts until the store closes on February 14th. Valentine’s day is a revolving holiday which means the day of the week can change, unlike holidays like Thanksgiving and Memorial Day. The day of the week has a major effect on overall sales. Thursday and Friday are the best possible days the holiday can fall on, and Saturday and Sunday are the worst days that Valentine’s can fall on. While planning in December and January, we must factor the day into our overall forecast. In 2023, Valentine’s Day will fall on a Tuesday, so we expect a moderate holiday based on the day of the week.

            How can we prep months in advance if our product is perishable? Our product comes to us from all over the world, as close as New Jersey and Canada and as far away as New Zealand. In order to secure the product and best pricing, our purchase of fresh flowers for that holiday is usually done by the end of the year. Our figures need to be accurate, especially with global shortages going on all over the world. The economy needs to stay stable as well, as we all know what can happen in 60 days. In 2020 we were fortunate enough to avoid the covid outbreak by several days and pull off a successful holiday. Hard goods such as containers, ribbons, and other floral supplies are secured at that time also.

            The “big crunch” comes in the final days of the holiday! Our team, just like any florist, is working late and arriving early to deal with the demand for one big day of delivering. Carts and pallets roll through the doors; the sounds of wrappers and snipping of flowers are a sign that the big day is coming, and there’s no turning back now. Flowers require preparation before they can be enjoyed by the general public. Every stem of flowers that comes through the door needs to be recut and retreated before it can be used in an arrangement or sold in our stores. The product receives new nutrients from our floral treatment system that is hooked right into our water line. This also avoids having to send floral food packets out with each order, as the product has received all of its nutrients before the client receives it.

            Our design team will work all day, primarily on red roses for this particular holiday but will also create a carefully calculated amount of other different types of floral arrangements to speed up the ordering taking and order delivery process. We will rely heavily on our website and sales team to sell items that we currently have prepared, that way the item can be ready for our logistics team to take out for delivery.

            The biggest pressure of the actual day falls on the logistics team. They have the hardest job of meeting working schedule deadlines and ensuring that all the other employee’s hard work through the entire process is executed successfully. Locally our team will cover a 30-mile radius that day. Being that the holiday is in the wintertime, they can also be battling the elements and the bitter cold. Our information systems do a phenomenal job prepping the logistics team by routing their orders and giving them an overall “scoreboard” of what deliveries have been successful and what deliveries remain for each zip code.   

            Our retail stores are also bustling that day as the romance of the holiday is in the air. We are always open extra hours that day, and most of the time are busy at the stores right up until close or even overtime. So, as you are enjoying that beautiful red rose bouquet or floral arrangement that a special someone sent you on February 14th, you now have a great insight as to what it took to pull it off.

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