How Did WF&FSA Members Do This Mother’s Day Holiday?
Molly Alton Mullins, WF&FSA Executive Vice President
The word on the street is the Mother’s Day holiday was strong overall for the floral industry, and sales have been strong ever since for the month of May. So how did WF&FSA members and the wholesale floral industry fare in particular? WF&FSA’s 2018 Mother’s Day survey has these results and more.
Overall, It Was a Good Holiday
Almost 26 percent of respondents said that this Mother’s Day holiday was “better than expected,” with 51 percent also responding, “it was what I expected.” Related to sales, the majority of respondents saw growth, with 55 percent seeing an increase in sales in 2018 compared to last year. Of this total, 23 percent saw sales rise 5-9 percent and another 11 percent stated that sales were flat. Some did respond that sales dipped in 2018, however the majority stated that dip was less than 5 percent.
Flower Quality and Transportation Were Issues
While 67 percent of respondents were “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with the quantity of their fresh flowers, almost 30 percent were only “moderately satisfied” or “not satisfied” at all. One respondent wrote, there was “poor quality of flowers, [with] lots of customer returns because of the poor quality.”
Transportation was also a big issue. “South American cargo flights were a challenge with many delays.” “Delayed flights out of South America made our Mother's Day much more challenging that we would have liked. Also had some late trucks out of Miami which did not help matters.” And despite these challenges, freight costs were drastically higher, with 82 percent of respondents saying freight costs were up, ranging from a small percentage (31 percent) to almost 52 percent saying freight costs were substantially higher this year than in 2017.
Many Continue to Source Directly from Farms and Ordered the Correct Amount of Inventory
Almost 31 percent of all respondent stated they sourced 80 percent or more of their fresh flowers directly from farms and virtually everyone who responded (73 percent) stated they were nearly sold out of inventory at the end of the holiday. The price of flowers was also up in 2018, with 50 percent of respondents stating as much, and no one reporting that prices went down (43 percent responded they did remain flat).
Overall, the Outlook is Positive
Despite logistical challenges and other transportation obstacles, almost all respondents reported a positive sales outlook for the remainder of 2018, with 70 percent saying they expected sales to be up. Overall profit outlook looks positive as well, with 51 percent expecting profit to be up in 2018, compared to last year. And that’s a trend I know we all hope to continue.
You can download the full survey results from WF&FSA’s 2018 Mother’s Day survey. Molly Alton Mullins is the Executive Vice President of WF&FSA. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 410-940-6360.