It may seem simple to order a bouquet of flowers and have it delivered to your home, but a lot of work goes into such a task. On this week’s Modern Retail Podcast, Seth Goldman, the CEO of online flower and plant delivery service UrbanStems, discussed the ins and outs of the e-florist business.
Over the last two years, UrbanStems saw year-over-year growth in both 2020 and 2021 — even after the company shut down its local delivery services in March of 2020, which resulted in a 60% decline in its business at that time. But when things reopened in July, the company was back on track, and “revenue growth continued to scale,” said Goldman. Indeed, sales grew 130% in 2021.
“A lot of our flowers come from South America, mainly Ecuador and Colombia. Those are the two largest growing regions for flowers. They come in into Miami, which is the biggest port of entry into the U.S. We then distribute them from Miami to our biggest facility in Maryland and then around the country to other facilities. And, from there, we redistribute that product to New York and DC — so you can tell how easy this is so far. And, from there, an order that you place on the website, for example, right now today in New York, would go from our dark store — which you’ve heard about in other industries, you can’t walk in there. Our amazing team is standing there at the ready to receive your order, place your bouquet in our very stylish box, and zip it out via courier messenger to your loved one or friend or another recipient that you wanted to make their day today.”
“Something I’m going to tell you that’s going to crush you a little bit. Most flowers have actually had the smell bred out of them. Because the smell is the releasing of gas and gas kills flowers. There are some varieties we use that still have that beautiful sweet floral smell, and I would love to use more of those. But we want the flowers to live and live longer. So that was something that crushed me a little bit when I learned it.”
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