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Christmas 22: Your 9 day countdown

It’s that ghastly period when the wreath frenzy is coming to an end but the order clips/books/lists are still looking a bit thin!! Trust us … we know the situation only too well.

Having been around since 1949 we’ve seen more Christmases than most of our readers and it has been ever thus. Much as we would love customers to order early they view flowers and plants as 'fresh' and like the veg leave it till the end!

But there are still things you can do so here’s our last – yes really our last - list of things you can action today!!

1. Take a tip out of the Lidl success story and run a WIGIG - When It’s Gone It’s Gone – promotion on lines that you can make a decent profit on. It creates a sense of urgency amongst customers and if you make it an in-store only offer it can get people into the shop and they may buy something else!

2. Consider different colour combos… there are some pretty good prices out there on flowers that aren’t red … we loved the suggestion from Merel van den Burg of Florismart to mix yellow and golds … a wrap of painted Grevillea, laurel or cupressus (gold, silver or copper) can transform virtually anything into a festive look and baubles always make things look Christmassy.

3. If you know there are things you deffo don’t want to store for next year, put a Monday Madness offer out. The cost/annoyance of storage may be worth clearing the decks and again if it’s in-store only it could generate foot flow.

4. Really, really push the delivered by hand aspect. With the Post Office strikes and shortages of courier drivers a lot of the online boxed flower operators may struggle. Create a sense of security by emphasising you can deliver come what may! We love what the Good Florist Guide people have done on this … we’ve adapted it as a shareable resource, but you can make your own messaging too.

5. Don’t forget the same day service either. We know it’s a pain, we know it would be better if people pre-ordered, but they don’t. It is the very back bone USP of florists … make use of it and create a customer for life!

6. Be brave and get your orders in to your wholesalers ASAP if not sooner. Some may hold extra stock but equally you can’t expect them to be magicians just in case. All our surveys show that next week is THE week … this is how it happened back in 2011 when the days fell in the same pattern, the weather was the coldest on record for 100 years and the economy wasn’t that great – not as bad as now but still not wonderful. It will get busier … not to the levels of 20/21 … they were one offs … but busy it will get.

7. Do not lower your prices to either compete with supermarkets or undercut other florists. It isn’t necessary or kind to your fellow florist. If anything put your prices up – you are offering a bespoke service and there is still money out there. Yes you should have some lower end RTG's and impulse buys but if they won’t pay the prices you need to cover costs and a bit on top, then they are not the customers you want. Profit is NOT a dirty word!

8. Be prepared for extra funeral work – the ONS has just released figures that show a 5.4% increase on deaths based on a five-year period and not Covid related. In Wales the numbers are higher. Talk to your local funeral directors to see if they have any updates and if you need to prepare for working between Christmas and New Year which may mean buying in bases and hardy stock.

9. Keep yourself fit and healthy and don’t let the mind monkeys get to you. Chances are you will be working longer hours – look after YOU as much as you are going to look after others … you deserve a happy holiday too!

PS: Don't forget

To change your OOOF

Plan for any surplus

Remove sold out products from your website

Just to be sure you've covered everything it may help to re-read our first two lists!!




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