Results from SAF’s Economic Outlook Survey show flourishing sales despite the higher cost of goods and labor.
2021 has been a busy year for the floral industry, and it shows no signs of slowing down, according to the latest Economic Outlook Survey conducted by the Society of American Florists. So, what’s contributing to these high sales? What are the potential pitfalls? And how can we continue this high-selling trend? Here are a few key takeaways from the survey.
Sales flourished in the first half of 2021
Nearly 90 percent of those responding to the survey said that their sales increased in the first two quarters of 2021 compared to the same period in 2020. As far as a percentage increase, the majority said their sales were up between 11 and 30 percent. And almost a quarter of respondents said their sales were up over 30 percent. Profits were also substantial, with nearly 90 percent of those surveyed reporting gains in net profits. Great news all around!
What has contributed to the strong sales?
There are a few key factors that caused an increase in sales. The first is, naturally, a rebound from the slowdown in the first half of 2020. Event work has returned, such as postponed weddings and celebration of life ceremonies. However, many said that their sales have increased due to the changes they made to their business last year. These include investing in additional products such as gift baskets, plants, and apparel and improving their websites and other online services.
How are florists dealing with rising costs?
Many florists raised prices last year to keep up with the rising costs of goods and the supply chain disruptions. Yet, those increased prices didn’t affect their profits, which shows that customers understand and are willing to pay the higher amounts. Florists expect to see a continued rise in the cost of labor, perishable products, and hardgoods. Many have already raised their prices again to build in this cost.
What about staffing issues?
Many florists continue to have issues with hiring and retaining staff: Nearly 60 percent of respondents said they had difficulty finding enough non-seasonal employees. They stated that they are overcoming this by advertising jobs across many platforms, paying competitive wages, and offering better work conditions. Additionally, approximately 32 percent of respondents stated that they’d streamlined their business so they can operate with fewer employees.
How to finish the year strong
Despite the challenges, 87 percent of respondents said they feel optimistic about finishing the year strong. The changes they’ve made over the past year have brought in more customers, and they expect to continue to make more upgrades.
And that’s key: Providing a streamlined, user-friendly online experience, optimizing customer service, and continuing to focus on the benefits of flowers for health and happiness, will all contribute to high sales for the second half of the year.
We hope you can use these survey results to focus on the actions that will directly affect your sales for the rest of the year and beyond. Good luck!