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Carolyn A. Collins and Barbara S. Fails

In the spring of 1996, Michigan State Univ. and the Michigan Floral Assn. mailed a comprehensive business survey to all Michigan floral retailers. This was the first nonpartisan study of the retail florist industry in Michigan. Based upon the 183 responses from full-service retail florists (those who deliver and subscribe to a wire service), a profile of the “typical” Michigan florist was constructed. Data presented will include general business operations, such as store floor space and length of time in operation, delivery services, wire service membership, advertising and marketing practices, staffing and wages, and annual profit and loss figures. Results provide a comparative benchmark for common retail florist business practices and can be used to assess the impact certain business operations may have on sales and financial success.

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Carolyn A. Collins, Barbara Fails and Oliver Schabenberger

Comprehensive industry statistics are valuable tools for small business owners and managers. The traditional full-service retail florist competes with supermarkets, limited-service flower shops, corner vendors, and telemarketing, catalog, and Internet firms. Although some retail florist business information does exist on a national basis, none specifically addresses Michigan florists. In Mar. 1996, a comprehensive mail survey of Michigan full-service retail florists was conducted with the cooperation of the Michigan Floral Association. The survey focused on 1995 general business operations, delivery services, advertising and marketing practices, staffing and wages, and financial status. Statistical analyses showed total wage expenses and occupancy costs to be major factors controlling net profits. The cost of delivery service and wire service membership also affected profitability. Full-service retail florists must examine and modify the cost structure of their businesses to generate the highest possible net profits.