Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and with rumours that rose prices are going to be at an all time high, you need to be in the know. Here, Katie takes you through how she and Sally navigated their pre-order list and the sell out prices they’re going for:
Today we put in our Valentine’s pre-order for our florist, Flowers by Nattrass. All the wholesalers are saying to pre-order if you can and you feel comfortable with the prices you’re given. Rose roulette seems to be apt, as no-one knows how the prices will go in the run up to the 14th.
I’m going to talk you through the order we’ve put in, along with some ideas of sell out prices. Hopefully you’ll be able to get some advice and know that it’s nerve wracking for everyone trying to guess the market at the moment!
Our pre-order list seemed ominously short compared to normal. There’s a number of reasons for this, as explained by Joost, CEO of CJ Vianen Flower Export based in Holland:
- Many Dutch rose growers have ceased production, or have ‘gone cold’ for the winter. This means that because of increased gas prices, they’ve stopped production until around April when they’ll get more daylight hours and temperatures will be warmer.
- Air Freight costs are through the roof. Meaning that varieties of roses from countries such as Kenya are not guaranteed to be available, as it’s not viable to fly them into Aalsmeer. This is because flowers are flown in the belly of commercial planes. Less commercial planes = less air freight space = higher costs.
- Covid is still causing transport delays and absence in the workplace, causing uncertainty.
- This uncertainty mixed with high gas prices and air freight costs has equalled some growers not giving pre-order prices. They believe that prices will be high and so they will get more per stem if they put everything into the auction during Valentine’s week.
Having said all that, you just need to be savvy. Don’t panic yet! (Pre-order, pre-order, pre-order…)
Red Naomi is our go-to luxury red rose. This year things are different. We’ve gone Ecuadorian all the way, which was slightly out of our comfort zone as we’ve ordered a variety called Explorer. It’s a large headed rose with a lovely deep red hue. And this is the best bit – no thorns!!
By going with Explorer instead of Red Naomi we saved £400. Before we bought, we rang our wholesaler and asked their advice. If you’re unsure about something then definitely do this. On the image below, Explorer is on the left, Red Naomi on the right.
For our white and pink roses, we went with white and pink Mondial. Personally, I love Mondial, they are gorgeously frilly and have lovely large heads. Again, an Ecuadorian rose.
Other flowers we pre-ordered were lisianthus, eucalyptus and salal. We compared prices with what we bought last year, and all three were coming in around the same price so we decided to pre-order and not risk it.
We’re taking a gamble with lilies and will keep checking the price in the run up. You can buy lilies a week or even more before you need them. With the right conditioning they’ll still be good as new come Valentine’s Day.
So, now we know our cost prices, what are our sell out prices going to be?
We’re going with £66 for our red dozens.
We calculated that the cost price of stems, + VAT, + wrap + labour came in at £36. If we were to double that for sell out price it would come to £72 per dozen. We’re based in the North-East of England and last year our dozens were £60. An increase of £12 would price us out of the market, so we’ve gone with £66. Use your intuition and gut feeling, but make sure you don’t lose out.
Our half dozens will be sold at £40, and a single rose (not gift wrapped) will be £4.
I hope that helps and gives you a start this Valentine’s Day. Whatever happens, be brave and go for it! If you’ve got any questions, drop me an email at email@example.com.
Amy has created a super handy and free spreadsheet, click here to read all about it and to ask for your free copy email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check out this article from the Florist Magazine with more info on what’s going on this Valentine’s from trusted wholesalers.