Well wow, 2020 is certainly going to be one of those years etched into our minds forever. The new year was rung in with horrific bushfires, and now we have found ourselves in quite a new world thanks to a highly contagious and often devastating virus. Aside from the unprecedented periods of social distancing and near complete lockdown, the COVID -19 crisis has made changes to the way we operate and interact in day to day life and there have been many affects to the way we run our businesses
Flowers have ALWAYS been a luxury item, and some would say flowers have always been expensive. They are a product that many go without regularly or they are reserved for special occasions as a non essential item. COVID-19 has changed our industry astronomically…prices are at an all time high, and I’m sure everyone wants to know why.
There are many factors that are contributing to this new ‘normal’ and for the moment it looks like it may remain like this for some time, if not forever.
Over the last 10 years or so there has been an increase to the amount of imported varieties of flowers flooding our market. So much so that it put many local growers out of business.
But now, with decreased flights, the stock coming into the country is LIMITED.
With decreased flights, the cost of actually putting flowers on a plane has become incredibly expensive. Those flowers landed, are attracting premium prices.
Good old supply and demand has also meant that there are fewer flowers and more people wanting them. Florists are scrambling to grab what they can I stock their shops and fill there orders. Social distancing requirements, restrictions to interstate and overseas travel, and restrictions surrounding nursing homes and aged care facilities has meant that there are more people wanting to send flowers for a variety of occasions.
What kind of effect does this have on the industry in terms of $$$. Well, we are paying up to 60% more on some lines, meaning that the cost to customers also must increase. If it doesn’t our businesses simply won’t survive.
A bouquet that may have cost $50, will now $80. It won’t last longer, you aren’t buying better quality, this is just what it costs now and it may be what it costs from now on.
We aren’t alone either, many industries are effected. Many stores across all industries are finding it hard to fill their shelves and keep certain lines available. Fruit and vegetables have all increased, however the difference is that people are always more willing to accept changes to essential items.
One positive change is that our industry market is now closed to the public which means that the businesses relying on getting these products are able to get them without further pressure. It allows the growers to trade amongst themselves prior to the market opening to fulfil their existing orders.
Many of the lines we’re accustomed to in abundance, are now limited, so it is important to note that ordering flowers requires some flexibility. All florists usually have some sort of disclaimer when ordering online that notes that substitutions will be made when required. This is even more likely at the moment.
You’ll notice our store does not have the variety you have been used to, and you will notice our prices have increased. We appreciate your custom and understanding in these unprecedented times. We will continue to provide you with fantastic customer service, and a quality product.
And we urge you, don’t stop supporting your local florist. Small business needs you more than ever.
Remember, shop small or there will be no small at all.
Images all from Sydney Markets