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Working Designer Wednesday: Keeping Flowers Fresh In The Flower Shop

Sep 14, 2011


shop DSC_0004  stephanie grace

image via Stephanie Grace

I have a few questions for those of you who operate a retail space. Because I owned a floral design studio dedicated to custom orders, weddings and events, I never had retail traffic and never had to think about these questions….but, now I’m intrigued and wondering…

How long do you hold flowers and arrangements in your retail space before pulling them from the shelves if they don’t sell? All the research I’ve read suggests holding flowers for no longer than three days from the day you receive them. Which brings up another question…what do you do with the flowers/arrangements once you pull them from the shelf? I know we have at least one charity in our town that takes these flowers from florists and arranges them in donated vases to deliver to terminal patients.

Another question…how do you keep track of the flowers to protect their vase life? Do you date the buckets according to arrival date? Or make a note about when to pull them from the cooler? I cringe when I see flowers in a shop with wilted or shedding petals. It’s obvious that these flowers are past their prime and would not last long after purchase. How do you safeguard against selling flowers with only a short vase life left?

One more question…we all love the look of flowers out on the floor (out of the cooler). Do you store these flowers in the cooler at night and have them out on display only during business hours? Do you find that displaying the flowers out of the cooler shortens the vase life?

I hope some of you retail florists will share your thoughts on this subject. It’s much easier to receive a shipment of flowers just in time to design a wedding and feel confident about the freshness of your designs than to order flowers and create an arrangement in the hopes of attracting a buyer within a day or two. I salute the designers who operate retail spaces…it’s not an easy endeavor!

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image via Ovando 

Have a great Wednesday!




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