Fresh Flower Inventory: What Sort And How Many Flowers To Stock In Your Store?

small green orchid

A big question for most most flower shop owners is...

"How many fresh flowers do I buy each week and what types of blooms should I have in my cooler?"

Having worked in the industry for years, and co-owned my own store for 5 years, I can provide some guidance here. Obviously, you should always have the basics, like...

  • Red roses
  • Yellow roses
  • Pink roses
  • Carnations in at least 5 different colours
  • Alstroemeria in at least 6 different colours
  • Mums in at least 6 different colours
  • An assortment of tall flowers (Snap dragons, Gladious, or Delphinin)
  • Gerbera daisies in at least 4 different colours
  • At least two varieties of accent flower such as babies breath or
    wax flower
  • At least one case of mixed greenery

This is the basic menu of flowers needed to run and operate or flower business. But don't leave it at just the above; each week, introduce your customers to a different variety of bloom. If it is well received, you can add it to your regular shipment and make it part of your cooler display.

Another great idea is to have a monthly special featuring a flower you don't commonly carry. Pick a seasonal flower that is available at low cost, and offer them to your customers at rock-bottom prices.

It's a great way to get people in the door. Best of all, they may see something else from your gift ware collection or add a vase or container to their order.

Wondering how many flowers to stock? There's no real way to know this for sure. Most owners and operators buy on a "gut feeling. Unfortunately though, you never know when you open your doors in the morning what the day may bring. There are, however, some tips to make stocking your cooler effectively an easier task...

Review your sales from the previous weeks, including the "dump sheet" of all discarded flowers (which you must have) as well as your overall profit margins to get a "feel" of the sort of quantities you need to be bringing in.

There will be weeks that you will empty your cooler and be calling your wholesaler for more flowers and there will be weeks that you will be looking at your cooler filled to the brim but it will all balance out in the end.

Keep in mind that in time, you will become much more adept at gauging customer response and stocking your cooler accordingly.

For peak times in the season, you can make your job easier by encouraging your customers to order ahead... this will help improve the accuracy of your shipments! Take notes from year to year for each of your holidays make note of what sold out and what to order less of

Good luck!

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