Thursday, 9 March 2017

Snowflakes

Not those wonderful cold wet icy things which together form a beautiful white coating on trees, fields, whiskers on kittens!! The kind which when melded together form a ball that can be thrown at friends, exploding on impact, sending icy water trickling inside their coats. Not those kinds. I'm talking about the people who get easily offended by everything; those snowflakes, of which today I became one. 

I'm not proud of myself and I don't usually really pay that much attention to things but earlier a friend shared an article from that racially prejudice, homophobic, reddit thread stealing, Kim Kartrashian loving site owned by the Daily Fail - oops, did I say fail? Meant to say Mail. Normally if I see something on their rag I pay no attention, however today (as they do every year when it is close to Valentines and Mothers Day) they shared their usual photo's of what you can purchase in a supermarket to what you can purchase via Interflora (who these day's aren't even proper florists and produce most of their stuff in a warehouse which they then ferry out via couriers (a bit like M and S, Moonpig etc - have a read on their reviews if you get the time. It can be most enlightening)) The 'fail' never bothered to go to a proper florists, but hey, why would such an awful rag bother with facts?. Anyway, I couldn't help but read and the part which said "Florists Whack their prices up" (I know, great wording, eh?) pissed me off a little, but nowhere near as much as the ignorant arseholes that were commenting. If I read once about how florists "rip off" their customers at these times, I read it dozens of times and I turned into a little snowflake. I can't tell you how wrong these assumptions are. Jeez, if it were the case I'd not have set this blog up to begin with or any of my other social media pages because I could pay for my own trip. 

Now, I'm not going to deny that back before the supermarkets (that T one started it which is why they will never receive a penny of my earnings) if you owned a florists you were probably going to make a lot of money at it. That was 30/40 years ago. Anyone now making their fortune is either in the centre of London serving "celebs" who have earned their money through - well, nothing - or those that are using the front of their businesses for flowers, the back for other things (yes, there was a guy a few years back who was doing such things; I think he's got another 10 years on his sentence to go yet). 

In my shop the prices at Mothers Day do not go up. The reason for this is because I know my customers could not afford to pay what they really should be paying. It would also put them off coming back during the year so my business absorbs the loss - that's right, the loss. You see while some shops do put their prices up (they have no choice if they have bigger overheads and staff costs than I do) many others will do as I do. It's not us, the florists, who bump the prices up but the growers themselves. In fact they are almost as bad as the supermarkets for they really are the ones who cause the issues. I understand they have to guarantee to grow a set amount of flowers ready for just one day, that they will need to hire more staff, use more electric, etc etc so they need to charge a little extra. However, what really happens is this. The supermarkets go to the growers and say "we want to buy 1 million bunches of daffs". The grower thinks "Wow; I charge 20p per bunch, that's a great amount of money" and he replies to the supermarkets "sure thing" to which they then say "hold on, we want those 1 million but we're only willing to pay you 5p per bunch". The grower then has a dilemma. Does he sell to them at that price? or does he say "no, actually they're 20p. Take it or leave it?" Of course he sells to them because he knows if he grows 2 million bunches he can sell the next million to the florist wholesalers, who instead of paying the 20p per bunch they would have paid alongside the supermarkets had they not bid the grower down, now have to pay 35p per bunch, for exactly the same bunch. You see that grower needed to make his 20p somewhere along the lines which means he has to make up the 15p a bunch he's lost on his 1 million. That loss gets added to the 20p we should all be paying and he makes his money up by selling to the florists. So therefore I am paying 35p for exactly the same bunch of flowers a supermarket has paid 5p for (30p a bunch less). 

Where am I the one ripping off the customer at this point? How am I the one in the wrong? It's the same with every single flower that is sold in a supermarket, although they do tend to get the grade 2 quality flowers whilst (for now) the florist is still provided with Grade A - which is what we are paying for. Sadly most consumers don't really know the difference. All they see is the supermarket selling at less than I have had to pay. 

I did take on the proper role of snowflake and started to reply to all the ignorant folk who had been slagging off us florists and dissing what we do, when I realised that they're not really the kind of customers I want anyway. Anyone who buys flowers in a supermarket is not really placing any value on A) the flowers, or B) the person they are giving them to, so I melted quite quickly. I'm just not proud of myself that I reacted in the first place.




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