We have been involved in the retail flower industry for over a quarter century and during that time have actively looked for ways to improve the bottom line in our own stores.
Let's face it, over the years as florists we have witnessed a lot of heavy retail hitters (Safeway, Loblaws, Costco) get into the flower business and grab a piece of what used to be exclusively our "pie". Now while the local flower shop can't always compete on selling price, we can provide superior customer service and product expertise that the big guys will never match. Although this works wonders to maintain customer loyalty and satisfaction, it does not always add noticeably to the bottom line of a struggling florist.
So we decided that we had to find a simple way to grow the bottom line without spending a king's ransom on advertising, renovations, or a myriad of other crazy ways that are suggested to us daily. After numerous pots of coffee and days of brainstorming we had our EUREKA moment.
Why not just buy better on some of the items we use everyday! After all, if we changed nothing else other than say saving 20%- 30% on basic florist hardgood purchases, those saving would drop right to the bottom line. The quick math suggested that on annual supply purchases of say $20,000 we could save $4,000 - $6,000. Sounds simple right?
Wrong! The first obstacle we discovered was volume! Trust me when I say sourcing product is not rocket science, in fact it proved to be the easy part. The tough part was meeting some of the minimum order requirements (like 5000 Florist knives....ouch!) and making sure that we were not shipping such small quantities that excessive freight costs offset the initial savings. What we needed was a quick way to move the extra stock that we purchased over and above what we could use ourselves and at the very least recover our cost of goods on the extras.
So, this was where our second EUREKA moment came about. It occurred to us that we are not the only flower shops in Canada trying desperately to save a buck and add a bit to the bottom line. Pretty much every florist in the country is barking up that tree.That meant the simple way to move extra inventory we purchased was to offer it to others in our industry at virtually the same saving we were enjoying. So Odyssey was created to do just that.
In a nutshell, here's how we can keep our prices low and save you money
- We go straight to the manufacturer as often as possible, there's no room for a middle man in this game and we buy for maximum freight savings.
- We keep it simple, no showroom, no delivery trucks, no salespeople. no enormous "hangar" like warehouse! After all we're just two retail flower guys trying to clear out some excess product, were not traditional floral wholesalers who rely on these sales to put food on the table.
- We don't extend credit terms, NO net 30 days! Everything we sell is paid for by the buyer at time of purchase by credit card or PayPal. Sure we calculate the credit card clearing charge into the price we offer, but we never have to allow for bad debt or financing accounts.In the big picture this saves our customers money and lets us sleep soundly at night.
- We keep our product line as simple as we can, before we buy anything we ask ourselves if we can use enough of it to actually make the savings worthwhile. Carrying a wide range of products and lots of inventory results in having to build a carrying cost into the product price. Just ask your local floral wholesaler!
How much can we save a florist?
That depends on what they buy and how much of it. The math is pretty simple, those using a lot of the basics we sell have the potential to save more than those with smaller volumes. But none the less, as florists we are in the business of pennies, so every cent saved at the wholesale level makes a difference.
So what is the next step?
As a florist wholesale we only sell to the retail trade, never to the public because of this we don't post our prices for the world to see. If you are a legitimate retail flower shop we know you will understand and won't mind that we ask you to answer some simple questions before we qualify you to purchase.So to take the next step Click Here
By the way, although our wholesale florist operation is based out of Edmonton, Alberta we do sell and ship our florist supplies to BC, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario.
Odyssey Product Imports is a division of Grower Direct Inc.