Mom and Pop florists feel the pinch of the internet - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Mom and Pop florists feel the pinch of the internet


Valentine's Day is less than a month away, and already some florists are feeling heartbreak.

The convenience or pointing and clicking and ordering from our smart phones are affecting the bottom lines of mom and pop retail florists.

Cindy Koch speaks from experience.

She said, "I've been in the industry going on 40 years. I've been at this location going on 25 years."

The business model at her Gallery of Flowers has changed.

"The internet has just ruined what the mom and pop shops are," Koch said.

Valentine's Day ads are popping up with Roses going for as less than 20 dollars a dozen, and many instances what you see online is farmed out to stores like Cindy Koch's.

She says this is a case of trickledown economics. 

However, stores like Gallery of Flowers only get a third of what you pay online.

"By the time we get the order the money is diminished, and you're expecting full value, but you should get full value, "Koch said." We can't fill the order, because we don't have that much money."

Not every floral shopping experience has been pleasant for Laura Flinchum.

"I am online person," she said. "I have received some online orders where the flowers are not the quality that you get when you come into a store." 

Cindy Koch worries the days here could be numbered.

"Within the next year and half two years, I will probably try to throw in the towel."

She says 80 percent of her business now comes from online sales.

However, 25 years ago, 80 percent came from people who walked in and out of her stores, as well as those who picked up the phone.

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