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Fresh Cut Flowers By The Numbers

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Jun 06, 2016

Math and statistical data formulas are useful tools if you are into flowers because these applications can tell you a lot about the probability of success rates when plantings varieties, how many seeds you’ll need to plant and many other useful situations.  For example, what is you wanted to know the probability of how many bulbs you would need to plant to ensure you had 5 healthy plants bloom in the spring?  Or what if you’re planning your wedding and need to know how many stems of a variety you can afford to stay safely within your budget?  Florists utilize their numerical skills everyday when they make decisions about ordering flowers and providing just the right inventory for their shops.  Careful research needs to be done with forecasting sales so that they not only please their clients but also maintain a healthy bottom line in the accounting books. Trust me… it’s not easy!  If you hold an interest for flowers and data driven facts, you might find these figures fascinating that pertain to the industry of growing, exporting and shipping.  


Do you see any fact or figure that surprises you?

  • 80% of all flowers in the United States are imported from other countries around the world.
  • The estimated amount of roses bought by suppliers for Valentine’s Day is roughly 300 million stems.
  • The flower industry made approximately over 31 billion dollars in 2015, a 5 billion dollar increase from sales in 2011.
  • With over 784 growers nationwide, the Gerbera Daisy is one of the most popular flowers in the United States.
  • 144, 000, 000 stems of tulips are circulated annually from wholesalers, Holland being the largest market trader.
  • Close to 2 billion dollars are spent on flowers each Mother’s Day making it one of the busiest holidays for florists followed by Valentine’s Day.
  • Working farms growing flowers only account for about 1% of the US population.
  • 30% of the gross income for farming comes primarily from their export business.
  • Garden Plants are still the most popular in the US for purchase followed by cut flowers and houseplants.  

Garden Plants


Cut Flowers


House Plants


Tags: Floral Indusrty, Tulips, Flowers, Valentines Day, Plants, Mothers Day

The FTD Logo

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Apr 08, 2016

If you’ve ever received flowers, it’s a pretty safe bet that you’ve noticed a particular icon printed on the sender’s card telling you that the arrangement came from an  FTD florist.  Since a thousands of all floral bouquets move through this communicative network, the picture of the little man with the winged feet is recognizable by many.  Comparable to other industry giants who typically use a bloom as their logo, FTD chose to relate their business environment to an entirely different type of symbol.  


Why is the emblem so unique from other competitors?  The answer is very clever…

Florist’s Transworld Delivery (FTD) decided to reach their client base by promoting their impressive service skill set not their product, which they felt was perfectly exemplified by their selected logo.  In fact, the man with the winged feet is known as the god, “Hermes” who was the messenger to Zeus.  His stories are often associated with speed and essential communication, a craft that left him one of the most infamous characters in Greek mythology.  He is also referred to as the Roman god, “Mercury” who traveled extensively, delivering important mail from one sender to another.  His ability to be swift with his chores became a resonant trait of the mythical idol and to this day is connected with the idea of dependability and trustworthiness.  He is also interestingly enough, tied to the occupation of “business”.


It makes sense, right?

You can see that FTD made a wise, strategic move by adopting “Hermes” as their spokesperson since all of his qualities are those that the company wishes to market as possessing themselves.  Dependable, quick and reliable are all assets we anticipate in our vendor’s services and we are reminded of this every time we receive an FTD product.   So the nex
t time you receive a beautiful arrangement of flowers, check the card to see if the time-tested man with the winged feet was in fact your special deliverer!  

Tags: Floral Indusrty, Flowers Worldwide, FTD, Worldwide Flowers, Mythology

What Florists Can Learn from Baseball Hall of Famer Bill Veeck

Posted by Rick Canale on Wed, Jun 24, 2015

I know. I am sad to say that not many of you are baseball fans. But watch a game with me sometime and you might become one. See I like baseball. No, I love baseball. Over-paid, self-indulgent babies on the field you say? I say, watch the 6-4-3 double play while sitting on the first base side and I will show you a visual masterpiece.

I not only watch the game, I am absorbed in its history. I am a lifelong Red Sox fan, but I am a fan of Major League Baseball even more. Fred Lynn, Dale Muphy, Ron Kittle; just names to some, but to me these guys were a pleasure to emulate in my childhood. While learning the game, I also learned a lot about its Hall of Famers. Bill Veeck (1914-1986) never played Major League Baseball, but he certainly left his mark on the game and my approach to the floral industry. 


Some know Veeck as a Hall of Famer. Some recall that Veeck was responsible for planting the first ivy on the walls of Wrigley Field in Chicago. Some know that Veeck owned the Cleveland Indians (1946-49), the St. Louis Browns(1951-53) and the Chicago White Sox(1959-61 & 1975-81). He even was the President of Suffolk Downs horse racing track in East Boston, (1968-71). Many sports business students know Veeck from his books. His most famous, Veeck as in Wreck, I have read four times. I have a copy at my desk at work and in my library at home. I have owned first editions and signed copies too. But, I always want to share the book's wisdom, so these valuable copies rarely stay in my possession. 

Last night, I found another passage in the book and had to share its relevance with my floral, hospitality and business colleagues. What Veeck wrote more than fifty years ago about selling tickets applies to any restaurant, florist or retail store


Chaper 7 - Every Day was Mardi Gras...

The best way to tell you what we did to draw these crowds is to tell you what we did not do. We did not open the ticket windows and expect the citizenry to come rushing up with their money in their fists. We have never operated on the theory that a city owes anything to the owner of a baseball franchise...

Exactly, Veeck hammers a valuable lesson for every florist. Our clients owe us nothing, we do not sell insulin and they do not need our flowers. We, however, need them to buy flowers from us at the price we have deemed valuable.

...There is nothing owed to you. A baseball team is a commercial venture, operating for a profit. The idea that you don't have to package your product attractively as General Motors packages its product, and hustle your product the way General Motors hustles its product, is baseball's most pernicious enemy.

Appearance, attitude, humility, gratitude and accountability are the traits he espouses. Like baseball, people want flowers in their life. They do not need them. Take Bill's lessons to your storefront. Note, the importance of also operating at a a profit.

I connect with Bill's wisdom. Bill was even an avid gardener. Decades ago, Bill suggested a store where you can buy plants, flowers and books in the same place. They did not have that then, but places like Terrain in Westport, CT offer that now. He was not only a Renaissance man, but a visionary.

You might like to know, the apple does not fall far from the tree. Veeck's son Mike is also an author and owner of multiple minor leage baseball teams.His philosophy of Fun is Good, has infected many lives with happiness. Mike's son Night Train (Bill's grandson) is also a chip off the block. Night Train works for the White Sox and has even guest blogged for us.I suggest making his acquaintance on Twitter. He is a great guy.




Tags: Baseball, Bill Veeck, Floral Indusrty, Floral Management, Baseball Hall of Fame

Will FTD's Merger with ProFlowers Help The Local Florist

Posted by Rick Canale on Mon, Aug 25, 2014

Exotic Flowers Roslindale

The floral industry's big four will soon become the big three. In October, 2014 FTD will merge with ProFlowers. What will this mean for the floral industry and what will it mean for florists ?

As a florist in Boston, my biggest  hope would be more national advertising to create awareness for the entire floral industry. While the floral industry relies upon occasion based giving, it would be great if FTD ramped up their advertising to make certain that flowers should be at the top of any gift giving list.

Boston Florist

ProFlowers was always limited in its ability to tout same day delivery. Same delivery is one of Exotic Flowers in Boston's greatest assets. FTD's network of thousands of local florists should strengthen ProFlowers value.  It is interesting to note that FTD launched a hand tied European bouquet collection previous to this announcement. ProFlowers was built on assembly required bouquets. At Exotic Flowers, 'batteries' are included and we do not feel that your floral gift should have to be assembled.

The gorilla in the room just got stronger. The question remains, how will FTD convince its members like Exotic Flowers in Boston that this merger will benefit a local Boston florist ?

Tags: FTD Florist in Boston, Floral Indusrty, ProFlowers, FTD

Exotic Flowers in Boston Gets a Nod in the SAF Weekly Sales WakeUp!

Posted by Rick Canale on Sat, Sep 14, 2013

Exotic Flowers in Boston is a long standing member of The Society of American Florists (SAF). Every week, SAF offers sales advice to those in the floral industry via their Sales Wake Up email on Saturdays. This week, Exotic Flowers is honored to be featured by writer Katie Hendrick.



Five Focus Points for Success

Boston retailer Rick Canale says in a recent blog post that e-mail confirmations are a basic and simple but effective way to make a great impression.

by Katie Hendrick
Ever wish you had a report card to measure the impression your shop makes? Consider this blog post the cheat sheet you’ve been craving. It comes courtesy of Rick Canale, owner of Exotic Flowers, the 2008 Floral Management Marketer of the Year winner.  

Here are a few highlights he insists his staff executes:

  • A thorough customer experience: email confirmations for orders and delivery, logoed polo shirts, logoed vans, “please” and “thank you” in every conversation, courtesy phone calls, personal handwritten notes
  • An emphasis on special occasions: employees should teach customers that flowers make all occasions more special — not just Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day and anniversaries
  • Upscale packaging: tissue, gift boxes and ribbon improves presentation immensely
  • A dynamic storefront: the shop strives to have something exceptional to create buzz, be it new or exclusive variety of flowers in the window or a celebrity arranging flowers (Baywatch star Traci Bingham helped out during Valentine’s Day 2013)
  • A strong social life: the shop regularly updates its blog, Facebook page and Twitter account with three objectives: entertain, educate and engage. Equally important is what happens when employees leave the store. Running errands in a logoed shirt and a logoed van is outstanding advertising.

Tags: Baywatch, Floral Indusrty, SAF, Floral Management, Marketing, Traci Bingham

Five Ways Florists Can Sell More Flowers

Posted by Rick Canale on Thu, Aug 22, 2013

red roses delivery in boston resized 600 As florists in Boston, we are facing a fast changing economy. If the gift business is a pie, a florist's slice gets skinnier every day. We are getting bombarded by the supermarkets, the internet and the box stores. The consumer gets savvier and more demanding every day. What can every florist do to recapture market share ? Here are five tips from Exotic Flowers in Boston that have brought us increases in sales since the economy changed in 2007.

  1. Customer Experience - Email order confirmations, delivery confirmations, how your staff dresses; are your vans lettered ? How is your staff treating the client. As professional florists, we must look and act like professionals. How many times a day are you saying 'please' and 'thank you,' - not enough. Are you reaching out to clients with courtesy phone calls and personal hand written notes ?
  2. Special Occasions -  Florists are in an occasion based gift giving business. Our average male clients gets flowers three times per year;Mother's Day, Valentine's Day and his anniversary.  If we can get that person to buy just one more time for Christmas, Thanksgiving, or a birthday then we can increase sales by double digits.
  3. Packaging -   How are your flower arrangements and bouquets presented? Hopefully you are treating every purchase as a gift. packaging resized 600 Tissue, gift boxes, and ribbon are all small extras that can set your florist a world apart from FTD and Costco. Take a look at J Crew, they even provide gift bags for gift cards. Are you making the gift wrapping a show ? Think of the man who shines shoes, that snap of the towel is purely show and does nothing to shine a shoe.  
  4. Storefront -  do you have a dynamic storefront ? Do clients feel welcome ? Are you a member of the community ? Do you offer new varieties of flowers to create interest ? Are you enticing a return visit with your service and product ? Forget the coupons. Clients that are loyal on price are not loyal for long. Create buzz and offer the unexpected. On Valentine's Day 2013, we had former Baywatch star Traci Bingham at the store helping clients. Customers are still talking about it six months later. 
  5. Social Media - take some time and engage your clients on line. Blog to entertain and educate. Share digital images regulary. Join the conversation online. Most importantly, leave the store. Go to the bank. Be seen transacting business in your community and do not be shy about driving your lettered company vehicle. It is some of the best advertising you can do.

Tags: Floral Indusrty, Boston Florist, FTD, Floral Management, Marketing

A Boston Florist's Observations at the Northeast Floral Expo

Posted by Rick Canale on Thu, Mar 14, 2013

ReflectionsLongWeb6 Copy9 resized 600

The Northeast Floral Expo remains my favorite regional floral industry show. Although I have not attended in a few years, I jumped at the chance to attend the 2013 show. The 2013 show took place at the Marriott Mystic Hotel in Groton, Connecticut. When given the opportunity to go to Mystic, I jump at the chance to combine business and pleasure. 

I always try to bring my family along for these trips. Being a florist, means long hours and six to seven day work weeks. My boys love room service, indoor pools and spending time together. Only about one hundred minutes from home, this trip made sense. Besides, our family loves the Mystic Aquarium

We set on our destination in the midst of a snowstorm on Friday, March 8th. While Boston was buried in over a foot of snow, it was a delight to 'get out of Dodge,'. After picking up my son at school, we were on our way at 345pm. Traffic was a bit light considering the elements. About a half hour from home, I realized I forgot my own bag. No socks, no undies, no pants or shirts; so what did I do ? I could have turned around and basically wasted more than ninety minutes. I pulled into an Old Navy and spent over $150 for new clothes. 

The show included a bounty of floral stars including Michael Derouin, Ann Jordan, Jay Schwanke, and Mandy Majerik. Floral industry leaders like Teleflora, FTD, John Henry and Delaware Valley all represented and contributed. For florists, this show is a must attend event. From business seminars, hands-on floral design workshops to networking, I came away with some fresh ideas to keep Exotic Flowers as a leading florist in Boston. 

flowers ne floral expo resized 600  I attended the seminar by Barry Gottlieb, where he reinforced the importance of exceeding, astonishing and delighting our customers. At Exotic Flowers, we are making a written effort to make every client experience memorable. In the next few days, we will be unveiling the Exotic Flowers branded ribbon. Every flower package and gift bag that leaves our store will have increased added value with this new ribbon.

Some highlights of my visit to the show inlcuded meeting Flower Network guru Ryan Freeman, catching up with John Henry service rep Janie Jackson, chatting up Delaware Valley Floral icon Doug Carey, facetime with Connecticut floral legend Bob Heffernan and talking baseball with FTD's Jim Weedon and Dave Galvin. I was also able to bask in Laurie Lemek's best in show display booth for Delaware Valley Wholesale. See photo below. dvalley resized 600

Of course, no Canale trip is complete without some great eats and cool shops. We were able to explore some cool independent toy stores in Mystic and had a couple of good meals at Mystric Diner and The Steak Loft. 


Tags: Northeast Floral Expo, Flower Travel, Floral Indusrty, Flower Show

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