Flowers, Nursery Stock, and Florists' Supplies

SIC 5193

Companies in this industry

Industry report:

This category includes establishments primarily engaged in the wholesale distribution of flowers, nursery stock, and florists' supplies.

Industry Snapshot

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were 7,591 establishments operating in the flower, nursery stock and florists' supplies wholesaling industry in 2009. The industry employed 48,850 people who earned a total payroll of about $1.4 million. Most establishments were small, with 76 percent employing fewer than 20 workers. The industry was in decline by the early twenty-first century, and total revenues in 2011 were a mere $12 billion.

The top five floriculture production states in 2010, according to the Society of American Florists, were California, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, and Texas. In 2010, California growers produced 75 percent of the U.S. domestic supply of fresh flowers. Most of the rest were imported, and although Florida produced only a small percentage of the U.S. domestic supply, nearly all overseas shipments (88 percent in 2011) of fresh flowers were flown into the Miami airport. By sales volume, 70 percent of U.S. consumption of fresh-cut flowers was imported. The majority (66 percent) were from Colombia. Other important sources of imports were Ecuador (15 percent); the Netherlands (6 percent); and Costa Rica, Mexico, and Canada (3 percent each.

Florida's hold on the wholesale import market was being challenged in the late years of the first decade of the 2000s. By 2009, two inland airports--one in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and another near St. Louis, Missouri--had opened refrigerated warehouses and were flying in fresh cut shipments directly from South American suppliers. Investors hoped to make inroads into Miami's strong hold on the wholesale market share as well as provide fresher flowers to residents of the Midwest, which otherwise must endure long over-the-road shipments once they reach the United States.

The wholesale floral sector struggled along with the entire floral industry through the recessionary economy of the latter years of the first decade of the 2000s as people had less income for discretionary spending. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce's Bureau of Economic Analysis, retail florist revenues showed a year-on-year decline for the first quarter of 2007, 2008, and 2009. To counter dwindling sales, the Wholesale Florist and Floral Supplier Association encouraged its members to make the most of their profitable customers, hang on to their marginal customers until the economy improved, and cut loose some of their customers who were less than profitable.

Generally speaking, the relationship between retail florists and wholesalers had changed by the end of the decade. Previously, retail florists bought the bulk of their flowers from wholesalers, who sold their produce only to their retail customers. As the marketplace became more and more competitive with the sudden onslaught of Internet-based and big-box florists grabbing market share, local retailers and local and regional wholesalers found themselves in new territory and breaking old, often unspoken rules of the trade. Retailers began to purchase more from local growers, from whom they could purchase in smaller quantities and ensure fresher flowers. Wholesalers, faced with retailers who feared having too much stock in store, cut back on costs, primarily by limiting selection and variety. To compensate, they began to offer service options such as frequent deliveries and smaller sales quantities. Wholesalers also moved to the Internet, offering overnight wholesale shipments across the United States. By 2010, approximately 12 percent of the U.S. floral industry's sales were conducted online, and this figure was projected to increase throughout the rest of the decade.

According to a 2011 report by market research firm IBISWorld, this industry was on the decline and had become "increasingly globalized, as mass merchandisers seek to buy cheaper imports and bypass wholesalers entirely." In response, wholesalers were expected to offer more value-added products or cater to niche markets, although neither strategy will prevent revenues from falling in the first half of the 2010s.

American Floral Distributors, located in Pembroke Pines, Florida, was one of the leading U.S. online wholesale distributors in 2011. Greenleaf Wholesale Florist, located in Brighton, Colorado, was the top U.S. wholesaler and operated its own direct shipment division online. Delaware Valley Wholesale Florist, located in Sewell, New Jersey, was another top wholesale supplier. The private company posted estimated revenues of $23 million in 2011.

© COPYRIGHT 2018 The Gale Group, Inc. This material is published under license from the publisher through the Gale Group, Farmington Hills, Michigan. All inquiries regarding rights should be directed to the Gale Group. For permission to reuse this article, contact the Copyright Clearance Center.

News and information about Flowers, Nursery Stock, and Florists' Supplies

Economic Impact
Central Penn Business Journal; December 7, 2012; 325 words
...colorful; the flowers are small and...with the biggest flower industries produced...economic impact of flowers in general...estimated 828 retail florists in Pennsylvania...employers in the "flower, nursery stock and florists' supplies merchant wholesalers...
Irvine, Calif., Florist Looks forward to Tax Day As Start of Flower Season.
Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News; March 26, 2001; 700+ words
...on the Nasdaq stock exchange. Since...growers. With 13 nurseries, 16 peat...acres, Hines supplies nurseries and garden shops...peat moss, nursery and color...one-gallon flowers, perennials...came from the nursery division, 30...independent nurseries, like Roger...
Spring in Canada triggers gardening spree.
AgExporter; September 1, 1998; 700+ words
...and nursery stock once spring...nursery stock, supplies and services...the Canadian nursery stock and floriculture...bedding plants (flowers and vegetables...one retail florist. Other indicators...categories: * Cut Flowers, Fresh or Dried. Cut ...
AGENDA 2002: Flower-Power for Farmers
The News Letter (Belfast, Northern Ireland); November 25, 2002; 700+ words
...nation's florists. As traditional...of becoming flower growers...growing cut flowers. The opportunity...over imported flowers. The department...market for flowers and indoor...offered by the flower and foliage...way - the nursery stock training courses...continuity of ...
Party Arches ... Blooming
Sunset; June 1, 1992; 556 words
...together with florist's wire, goes...at a garden supply and set it over...stakes At a nursery, buy two 8...Decorating them with flowers Choose flowers and greens in...statice, stock, strawflowers...yarrow. Some flowers, such as roses...
BUSINESS IS BLOOMING HOME GARDENING CRAZE, ICE STORM CLEANUP FUEL GROWTH OF INLAND NORTHWEST PLANT PRODUCERS
The Spokesman-Review (Spokane, WA); March 16, 1997; 700+ words
...salable plant stock. "We're...of Gibson's Nursery & Landscape Supply in the Spokane Valley. The nursery turns its 4...make up." But nurseries and florists have learned...owner of Mel's Nursery Floral and Gifts...which acts as a florist, furniture...gaining. Cut ...
TIME TUNNEL: When City Had Its Own Crystal Palace; A JOURNEY INTO OUR RICH HERITAGE... TO A VICTORIAN NURSERY WITH 60 GLASSHOUSES
Coventry Evening Telegraph (England); May 8, 2004; 700+ words
...seedman and florist. Although it...boasted a large stock of horticultural...Nurserymen and Florists. This huge...perfect culture of flowers there is probably...it to produce flowers and plants...always displayed flowers of various kinds...limits of a flower show." ...
Neil's Fantasy is now reality
Birmingham Evening Mail (England); May 30, 1998; 700+ words
...their Brompton nursery we now remember with Brompton stocks. All too soon...had to find nurseries to supply plants of 300...Neil plants old florist flowers within beds...English garden, a flower parterre, a...fashioned flowers for his Fantasy...other florist ...

Search all articles about Flowers, Nursery Stock, and Florists' Supplies