Flower Shop Franchises in the UK Are Ready to Blossom

17/09/2018 18:00 | Start a business

For many people, owning a florist’s is an ideal career. Those with a passion for flowers should take a look at some of the existing floristry franchises available but also consider whether there's a gap in the market for something entirely new.

Industry context

The floristry industry is diverse and varied, encompassing fresh cut flowers, dried flowers, and artificial designs, too. Combined with the indoor plant market (the two products are often sold side by side), the industry is worth approximately £2 billion. Florists alone contribute around £1 billion to this figure and employ over 20,000 people across the country.

In recent years, there has been a move away from flowers only being bought on special occasions. Now, more and more people are regularly buying flowers for themselves and their homes. This shift in attitudes has moved the UK consumer closer to customers on the continent, who are much more likely to spend money on flowers. Whereas the UK market has an average spend per person, per year of £36, this is more likely to be between £60 and £100 in western European nations. As cultural attitudes towards floristry change, the industry should continue expanding and growing.

Consumer habits in the floristry industry

Consumer habits have changed drastically over the years, and there are also significant differences between different customer demographics. For instance, women aged 35-54 are most likely to buy over the counter and are responsible for 75% of all sales. On the other hand, men aged between 20-35 are far more likely to order flowers over the phone. The introduction of phone ordering systems more than a decade ago had a drastic impact on the industry, and it appears as though online ordering is having a similar effect today.

Online floristry retailers

In 2017, the online flower market grew by an incredible 41%. Much of this growth was driven by large organisations that were able to utilise digital infrastructure from other parts of their business to facilitate efficient online floristry services. For instance, Waitrose Flowers and Moonpig are two businesses that don’t primarily specialise in flowers but were able to leverage their existing digital systems and customer base to sell them successfully.

Interflora is also an important player in the online floristry scene. Though they're often thought of as a franchise, they’re actually a non-profit, membership-based organisation that increases the visibility of independent florists’ delivery services. On top of all this, smaller florists and floristry franchises are also developing more efficient online services and snatching a growing share of the market.

What makes flower franchises so special?

Flower franchises are an excellent opportunity for many reasons. First and foremost, florists are one type of retailer that is always in demand. Though certain types of sale may increase and decrease depending on the broader economic situation, there are always weddings, funerals, parties, and a wide range of other big events to cater for.

Second, floristry is often a passion project for those involved. A good florist will always strive to further their product knowledge and technical skills. They’ll typically enjoy doing so, too. For many, a floristry franchise allows you to run your own business while also doing something you love.

Inleaf

Inleaf provides plant decorations for business, hotels, and homes across the country. While they sell a more diverse range of products than traditional florists – including live walls and moss pictures – flowers still constitute a large part of their business. The franchise emphasises the importance of indoor plants and flowers in creating a healthy ambience that can increase productivity, reduce air pollution, and lower stress.

To become an Inleaf franchisee, you’ll need to raise a total initial investment of just over £30,000. This level of investment will generate an expected revenue of £76,000 after two years and will grant you the rights to trade under the Inleaf name and brand image. Franchisees will also benefit from a comprehensive franchise package.

Endura Roses

Endura Roses are a UK franchise that specialises in preserved flowers and plants. It’s part of a growing market and should be considered a unique opportunity to invest in a business that’s now a confirmed industry leader. Whether sent as a gift, used for weddings, corporate occasions, or public events, preserved flowers are an increasingly popular choice amongst consumers.

To become a franchisee, you'll need to invest £120,000. The franchise offers a great deal of support, including assistance in selecting and fitting a location, running marketing campaigns, and a great deal of operational guidance, amongst other things. All franchisees are enrolled in an initial period of training and also benefit from on-going support.

Speaking Roses

Speaking Roses are a florist with a difference. Having developed and patented the ability to print directly on fresh flowers, they sell a wide range of floral designs that bear any text or image you can think of. Whether it’s a photo, logo, signature, icon, or text, Speaking Roses ensure you get your message across with their unique printed flowers.

Franchise licences are currently valued at around £5000, though further investment is likely to be necessary to get the franchise off the ground. The UK rollout of the franchise has not been as effective as would have been hoped and there are questions as to how much support franchisees will receive.

A golden opportunity

The three franchises we've looked at here demonstrate that there is undoubtedly a gap in the market for a new florist franchise to exploit. Existing franchises either treat flowers as a small part of their operations or attempt something a little more gimmicky. This means that a true flower shop franchise has a good chance of success.

Conclusion

The floristry industry continues to grow year on year, and consumer behaviour appears to be changing in ways that should benefit the industry. There's also a notable lack of true flower franchises, and a talented businessperson may be able to take advantage of this gap in the market.

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