California florists are an “endangered species”
According to Hoy Carman, professor emeritus at The Department of Agriculture and Resource Economics at UC Davis, the retail florist trade in California is an “endangered species”. A recent report put out by Carman details the loss of both florist and nurseries in California, and mentions the trades are in for some “rather basic structural changes” going forward.
The report states that the number of florists peaked in 2008 with 6,427 before dropping 25% to 4,798 in 2011. Total sales by California florists plunged nearly two-thirds in just three years while the sales by nurseries also dropped by 25%, with a partial recovery in 2010 and 2011.
Interestingly although sales by California florists dropped sharply during the recession, the change in farm sales of floral products “was much less dramatic” according to Carman. He attributes that to the rise of supermarkets and other outlets selling floral products.
Just as we have talked about before, traditional garden centers and florists will continue to see competition from other less traditional sources. Soon, most florists and many garden shops will be like the local book store, nowhere to be found.