Teleflora™ just updated its product catalog.
Great you think? Fantastic new seasonal photos for my florist website, great new products for my customers? Well think again.
Teleflora™ updated its product catalog and is now charging its member $399 each plus $14.99 per month for ongoing updates — total $580 next year for new cost.
In addition, florists need to buy new containers, adding additional cost! If we assume conservatively that florists stock half of the 11 new containers, that they need to buy them by the dozen, and that the vases cost $3 above a plain vanilla container — that’s an additional $180 in container cost per florist over the next year, bringing the grand total to $760 Teleflora will charge the average member florist!
So let’s do some quick math. Teleflora’s™ website says they have 18,000 florists. If the average florist pays $760 next year — that’s $13.6 million they will make next year alone from rolling out a product catalog!
That’s $13.6 million dollars Teleflora™ will earn for work that cost them maybe $100,000! In retail terms, that’s a 13,600% markup on the company’s $100k investment — this is an insult to retail florists who have built Teleflora™’s business.
In what other industry is it possible for providers to mark up their products more than 13,000%? This is Wikipedia’s description of a monopoly — sound familiar?
In economics, a monopoly exists when a specific individual or an enterprise has sufficient control over a particular product or service to determine significantly the terms on which other individuals shall have access to it. Monopolies are thus characterised by a lack of economic competition for the good or service that they provide and a lack of viable substitute goods. The verb “monopolise” refers to the process by which a firm gains persistently greater market share than what is expected under perfect competition.
In other words, this is yet another updated, refreshed version of Monopoly™: The Flower Shop Edition. And where is that $13.6 million going? Advertising Teleflora’s brand, not yours.
Retail florists can take back control from the wire services. Call your Teleflora™ rep and tell him what you think about their monopoly behavior. And start thinking about independent ways to market your business without the wire services.