Specialty retail Jul, 24 2014

Way to a blossoming opportunity

By Ekta Sharma Verma, TFW Bureau
Way to a blossoming opportunity

If flowers are your passion and making a career in the florist industry is all that you had thought, then exploring opportunities with Just Flowers will be a well-paid choice for you. Delhi based florist, Just Flowers is on an expansion spree and offers fresh and fragrant avenues to the investors. In a candid chat with Ekta Sharma Verma, Anand Kumar, Managing Director, Just Flowers spoke about his brands further moves in India and some recent trends in this blooming industry.

Tell us about Just Flowers and the challenges in the florist industry?

Just Flowers is a retail florist chain which started with one outlet in 2002 and has now grown to 14 outlets. I believe there are various challenges in this industry like flowers being perishable product; a franchisee always strives to increase sales as it will keep the wastage (losses) minimum. You need lot of energy and hard work because the working hours are long and there are no holidays.  You need to understand the budget and taste of the customer. As is the case in any service industry, the flowers must reach on time (promised by you to the customer). Transportation is another major task in the florist industry. Utmost care should be taken while delivering flowers to customers place. Flowers are delicate and heat, wind and jolt (irregular movement on bumpy road) can cause irreversible damage to flowers.

Do you provide any training to your franchisees?

Yes, we provide training to franchisees at our existing stores. We talk to them, guide them, and tell them about business intricacies. They can learn a lot by working on real flower shops.

What are the basic requirements to become a franchise partner?

The person who wants to become a franchise partner must have financial resources. He/She should have commercial space at a prominent location. The applicant must be enthusiastic and dynamic about learning the flower business, exploring new avenues, giving suggestions to customers and thus generate sales. If a customer is uncertain and indecisive, they should act as a helping hand and sell the right product (matching the customer’s budget, occasion and persona).

Kindly tell us about some recent or upcoming trends in your Industry.

The use of flowers is increasing day by day. More people are buying flowers for themselves. Spending on flowers is mounting. I am happy to note that more growers in India are taking interest in cultivating exotic varieties that we have to import from Europe and USA to meet our requirements. At the same time I note that the younger generation makes it a point to use flowers for even ordinary occasions and just as a way to express feelings on normal days. For weddings and celebrations we see more requests for special themed flower arrangements from the wedding couple. This emphasis was lacking a few years ago. Even corporate sector is now more “flower oriented”. We also have a new line of artificial but very realistic looking flowers and flower arrangements that are becoming popular. Dried flowers are also making headway in the Indian market so I am upbeat about flowers of all kinds.

Future plans for next five years?

Ours is a modern flower business which means we rely on data and analytics to know markets and trends. I am confident that in the coming years our flower business will see an explosion of orders from all across world. We are giving thought to establishing our own growing farms in association with agriculturists.

Franchise facts:

Area

Investment

RoI

Breakeven

Current stores

150-300 sq ft

Rs 5-7 lakh

30 %

6 months

12 franchise and 2 company owned store

Related: Gifting Benefits During Festivities

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