27 November 2014 : 

After the Valentine’s Call-to-Arms alert we posted 2 days ago I thought we could perhaps expand a little on the subject of where to get flowers (whilst you have some time on your hands over the weekend). This is now something that is now an art in itself given the number of places you can get them. From independent local florists to supermarkets and from petrol stations to internet only businesses the choice seems to “grow” everyday (pun fully intended!). However, despite the growth in number of outlets for flowers; actual sales have been decreasing since 2007.

Given the current economic climate “cutting” back on flowers (yes, I’m afraid the puns just keep coming!) is an obvious saving. In some senses they are a completely unnecessary and non-functional indulgence, but that neglects the sentiment that is at the root (I’m sorry) for giving them in the first place.

Yes, they might be an indulgence, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t give them. However, given that it’s “the thought that counts” (and not what you spend) we thought we’d walk you thought where to get your flowers and why.

Buying from the petrol station…
This is probably one of the worst places to shop for flowers. The majority of people that do buy flowers from the petrol station are us men (sorry, but you know it’s true!). We’re usually buying because they forgot an important event such as a birthday or anniversary (or we’ve done something wrong!).

“a kind of uniquely male penance for our indiscretions!”

Garage or petrol station flowers are usually sold in the same way as sandwiches, car equipment, and anything else found in the shop: at an incredibly high price. The wholesalers selling the flowers to the retailers are intent on making huge profits, and as such this cost is passed on to the consumer (a kind of uniquely male penance for our indiscretions!) .

The flowers you will find at the petrol station are usually a run of the mill bunch of flowers, a mixed bunch with a couple of different colours and popular cut flowers such as chrysanthemums and daisies.

Buying from the supermarket…
Supermarkets made headway into the flower market as soon as they realised that flowers meant big profits. The major supermarkets usually sell their flowers in large buckets, presented beautifully, encouraging the consumer to just pick up a bunch whilst doing their weekly shop. These flowers are very easy to get hold of, usually very affordable, and don’t seem too ‘cheap and nasty’.

The downside to purchasing from the supermarket is the lack of knowledge or experience from the sales staff. Very rarely is there any staff member around to discuss your needs, or what message you want the flowers to convey. Whilst there may be nothing wrong with the flowers you’re about to pick up, will the recipient really get that ‘wow factor’? Probably not.

Buying off the internet…
Purchasing flowers online has become the latest way to get your hands on a beautiful, fresh bunch of flowers. Or so you are led to believe, but you may actually be getting flowers which are a couple of days old. This is usually because you have purchased a bunch of flowers based on an image on screen, and the retailer is generally obliged to send you a matching bunch, meaning that they may have to wait a day to or so to get their hands on the stock. The other disadvantages are that your flowers may not arrive particularly well arranged, and if you’re not exactly a dab-hand, you may well end up handing someone a bunch that looks like you just trampled over it or pulled it out of a hedge (literally).

Buying from the florist….
Now you may be expecting me to sing the praises of the flower shop, but perhaps to your surprise, not all florists are of a great standard. When you enter the shop, check to see if it is really a florist, or more of a greengrocer. If it is the latter, be wary when buying as citrus fruits can actually kill flowers, and they are far less likely to be fresh than from a ‘real florist’.

Now that is over with we can focus on the ‘real’ florists and flower shops who are usually owned by people with a genuine passion for what they do and sell (and often have great shop names… Floral ‘n’ Hardy in Lanark is my own favourite). Whilst this may cost you a few quid more than the supermarket, you will end up with a far superior bunch of flowers.

The staff member, or more likely to be the owner, will have a wealth of knowledge to share with you, such as which flowers are best for hospitals, funerals, birthdays, mother’s day, and so on. The flowers will be well cared for and they will have a very long life expectancy – so perhaps on a smile per bloom measure they’ll offer the best value!

“…they will be the be the best flowers you’ve ever bought!”

It’s the thought that counts!
So there it is – The why’s and wherefore’s of flower buying…now you just need to work out who you’re buying them for, and remember; if you’ve read to here you’ve probably spend more thought than ever on what and where to buy, so by “thought that counts” measure they will be the be the best flowers you’ve ever bought!

Mark Scott - Image Written by :
Mark Scott - Signature

Mark is the Marketing Director at CompareandSave.com, having previously worked at a number of media agencies on various financial brands.

He now splits his time between promoting CompareandSave and investigating new ways to help our readers save money.

For press enquiries, please visit our Media Centre page.

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