Many florists had a cheer-worthy Christmas last month, with 60 percent of retailer respondents to a Society of American Florists’ post-holiday survey reporting an increase in sales.
Among those who experienced an increase, 29 percent said the uptick was between 1 and 5 percent, and 24 percent said it was between 6 and 10 percent. The top three reasons respondents gave for their sales increases: regional economy (35 percent); higher price points (24 percent); and more corporate business (20 percent).
The average transaction for the holiday was $71, slightly higher than last year’s $68. Last year, 55 percent of retail florists reported a sales increase for the 2017 December holidays.
The survey was emailed to SAF retailer members on January 7 and had a response rate of 7.4 percent.
About 55 percent of respondents who saw a sales increase said they experienced an uptick in website orders; 51 percent said they saw a jump in phone orders and 50 percent saw an increase in walk-in orders.
Among those florists who saw a decrease, most (54 percent) said they weren’t sure of the decline percentage. Meanwhile, 17 percent said the decline was 1 to 5 percent; another 17 percent said it was 6 to 10 percent.
- Less corporate business (25 percent)
- Less event and party work (18 percent)
- Competition from mass marketers/supermarkets (14 percent)
Thirty-eight percent of florists with a holiday sales decline saw a decrease in wire-in orders. A third saw a drop among wire-out orders, and 31 percent saw a decline in walk-in orders.
The survey also asked respondents to detail their poinsettia sales. Among those findings:
- Forty-four percent said poinsettia sales were about the same this year as last year.
- Those numbers are in line with overall sales trends: 42 percent of respondents said their poinsettia sales have been on the decline for the last five years.
- Ninety-three percent of respondents said that red poinsettias constituted at least 21 percent of sales.
For Promotion, Social Media Rules
Social media was a holiday promotion tool for 92 percent of the respondents, with 68 percent calling it their most effective tool. (About a third said email was their best tool.)
Other popular forms of promotion:
- Store signage, posters, displays (68 percent)
- Email (54 percent)
- Online advertising (46 percent)
- Print advertising (39 percent)
- Radio advertising (20 percent)
Most respondents – 65 percent – said their promotion level for the December holidays was roughly on par with the previous year.
Holiday Décor Services and In-Store Events
About 49 percent of respondents offered holiday décor services. Among those who offered those services, 46 percent said their décor business was roughly the same this year compared to 2017. Fifty-eight percent hosted a holiday-themed event.
Hours, Staff and Post-Christmas Sales
Roughly 68 percent of respondents were open part of the day on Christmas Eve Day. Almost everyone closed on Christmas Day. Meanwhile, 57 percent of respondents were opened part of the day on New Year’s Eve day, and 97 percent were closed all day on New Year’s Day.
Many florists made relatively few staffing changes for the holiday rush: 41 percent of respondents did not hire any additional staff; 21 percent brought in two people; and 18 percent brought in just one extra worker.
After the holiday, 55 percent of respondents ran a post-Christmas sale.
Mary Westbrook is the editor in chief of Floral Management.