As millennials and Gen Z increasingly celebrate occasions with quality gifting, Meeta Gutgutia, Co-Founder, Ferns N Petals, elaborates how the brand is enabling increased customer retention and higher ticket sizes to facilitate franchise profitability
Ferns N Petals is India’s largest flower and gifts retailer and one of the largest flower retailers in the world with a network of 330+ outlets across 120 cities. Started by Vikaas Gutgutia in 1994, the brand has served more than 6 million customers both online and offline. Excerpts from the interview:
What are the changes you have observed in consumer behaviour over the last few years that make your brand irresistible for franchisees and customers?
We have observed that the young generation enthusiastically celebrates every occasion with the same level of excitement; hence they govern our success. The consumers have now become more aware about the quality of products as well as creative flower arrangements and personalised gifting. We regularly take valuable feedback from our esteemed customers and improvise accordingly. Therefore, we have been enjoying customer patronage for our offline and online business over the past 25 years.
Ferns N Petals is expanding beyond its core business of flowers and gifting and has ventured into the FMCG, hospitality, entertainment and content creation sectors. How has been the response for all such verticals?
We have forayed into new businesses to cater to the demands from Gen Z. So far, we have been successfully catering to the millennials but as part of the future strategy, our endeavour is to have Gen Z as our patrons too. The response from these different verticals has been quite encouraging. In fact, our bakery format FNP Cakes ‘N’ More has performed excellently and we have opened 65+ outlets within two years across 42 cities.
In addition, we are now successfully running two hotels – Udman and Opulent in South Delhi – and eight luxurious wedding venues in Delhi NCR. Further, we have started our own catering under the name ‘U Kitchen.’ Apart from this, we have recently launched a YouTube channel ‘Live by FNP Media’ to promote budding artists. In our core business, we have added 75+ floral outlets in the last financial year in 39 cities. Overall, we have achieved more than 50% growth in the retail business.
What are the strategies you are devising to increase your franchisees’ profitability and recurring-revenues?
Entering new businesses is part of our strategy to create multiple revenue streams for our franchise partners. After having created a niche in the flowers and gifting space, we entered the cakes and plants business and we are now focusing on personalised gifting to further widen our retail offerings. The addition of new categories always results in more footfalls, better conversions, increased ticket size, and thus the profitability of franchisees. This also empowers customers with more choices and thus loyalty and repeat purchases improve drastically.
What are your expansion plans?
We are now planning to expand our retail footprint to include south-eastern countries. We already have stores located in Singapore and Dubai. In addition, we are in the process of unveiling a couple of five-star hotels. We are also planning to launch our IPO very soon.
Franchising since: 2000
Total outlets: 330
Investment: Rs 8-10 lakhs
Area: 150-300 sq. feet
Breakeven: 8-10 months