Started With A Single Store In 1994 In New Delhi, Under The Entrepreneurship Of Vikaas Gutgutia, The Brand Has Now Reached A New Milestone With The Opening Of Its 300th Retail Outlet In Jhansi.
Over time, India has grown its appetite for flowers and gifting, providing a huge push to the overall organized gifting and flower retailing sector. And Ferns N Petals, being one of the oldest players in the segment, have pioneered the concept of social expression (flowers, gifts, and cakes) in the country and has become a name synonymous with love, emotions and celebrations.
Ferns N Petals outlets are aesthetically designed to cater to the ever-growing demand for gifting solutions. Anil Sharma, Vice-President, Retail & Franchising, Ferns N Petals, shares about the brand’s achievements, its marketing strategies and the expansion plans.
Tell us about Ferns N Petals, its inception and journey so far.
Started with a single store in Delhi, 1994, under Vikaas Gutgutia, the brand has established a new edge to the flower gifting culture in the country. With his determination and desire, Ferns N Petals has grown with the core emphasis across portfolios on customer delight and constant aspiration to deliver exclusivity. We lead the floral, gifting and cakes industry with 300 outlets in 120 cities pan India. Today, Ferns N Petals Group comprises of Ferns N Petals Retail & Franchising, Ferns N Petals E-commerce - India & UAE, Ferns N Petals Weddings & Events, Floral Touch - India & UAE, Ferns N Petals Gardens, WDH (Wedding Design Hub), Flowers ‘N’ More, Ferns N Petals Flagship and FNP Cakes ‘N’ More. The brand provides solutions for every occasion across the globe.
Who are your target consumers?
Our target consumers are people who love sharing their emotions. Earlier, flowers and cakes were only a part of birthday and anniversary celebrations. But now, no matter what the occasion, both are an unavoidable part. Lovers of exotic designs are our dedicated customers.
Tell us about your retail presence.
Ferns N Petals is the most rapidly growing floral chains in India, which has expanded its reach in 120 cities through 300 retail outlets pan India.
Elaborate on the achievement of establishing your 300th store in Jhansi, India. What helped such expansion over the years?
The robust business model with low investment and high returns have made Ferns N Petals the world’s largest chain of flower boutiques. While formulating the franchise business model, we have planned and gave importance to manpower, merchandise and training support so that franchise partner can concentrate on retailing without worrying about sourcing. We have been conducting various regional meets wherein we ascertain the health of each franchise partner and suggest course correction accordingly.
Tell us in detail about your 300th store, its interiors and offerings.
The brand has opened its 300th outlet in Jhansi which is spread across 200 sq.ft. area. It is the first outlet in the city and 28th in the state. Like others, this outlet is also aesthetically designed to cater the ever-growing demand for flowers, cakes and gifting solutions. It also offers decor services for social, corporate and individual celebrations and events.
Tell us about your marketing strategies.
Marketing strategies for Ferns N Petals are very customer centric and are carried out primarily using new age mediums. Engagement, personal connect, customer specific activities are planned and executed on a regular basis. Our strategies revolve around knowing our customers – their occasions, preferences, personalities while promoting products and services to them on a personal level. Instant gratification in the form of cashbacks, vouchers, and discounts are used to entice and retain the customers. Besides, we do digital marketing which includes SEO, PPC, newsletters, content marketing. FNP also has a very strong presence on social media. We spend only 5 percent of our overall revenue on marketing and promotions.
What are your plans for expansion in terms of retail presence and also products and services being offered?
After seeing the positive response from tier-II and tier-III cities like Barshi, Jhansi, Katihar, Indore, Gurdaspur, etc., we are encouraged to concentrate and explore more outlets in such cities. Also, for us the penetration into smaller towns is very critical as being the leading gifting network in online and offline mode, we want to extend the reach to consumers who have moved out of their hometowns but are looking for a medium to send wishes to their near and dear ones back home. This need is a key growth driver for us. The brand plans to open 500 retail outlets by the end of 2020. While extending our reach with existing portfolio of products and services, we are working on new categories of personalized gifts, plants, cakes and premium gifting.
What is the current situation of flowers and gifting industry? How is it evolving in India?
Flowers and gifting industry in India has evolved in a very positive way, as consumers are now willing to spend more. Plus, there is an increasing number of global players who are meeting the rising needs of the consumers. The organized retail in India has also undergone a transformation from a highly unorganized sector to a professionally managed industry. According to reports, the floriculture industry has grown at a CAGR of nearly 28 percent in the last five years.
What’s your take on franchising? How viable is it for business expansion?
Franchising has revolutionized the retail industry. We started franchising in 2002, it was the only option to build and grow the chain. Vikaas Gutgutia, Founder & MD of the brand, deputed his trained and faithful people in the outlets, thereby ensuring quality control. The franchising model worked well and within 3 years, the Ferns N Petals chain grew and moved to other cities as well. Today, Ferns N Petals has 300 outlets across 120 cities in India and celebrating the establishment of its 300th store in Jhansi.