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Flower vendors still hold out hope for regrowth amid the coronavirus pandemic

Flower vendors still hold out hope for regrowth amid the coronavirus pandemic

Subscribe to Outbreak , a daily roundup of stories on the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on global business, delivered free to your inbox. Farmgirl Flowers was on track to having a banner year in 2020. The San Francisco-based company hit $32 million in annual revenue in 2019, a rate of almost 50% growth year-over-year. And based on how well sales in January and February went, early projections were showing the flower vendor, which delivers across the contiguous United States, could meet a goal of $50 million in revenue for 2020. "Long story short, things were going extremely well in the first quarter of 2020," says Christina Stembel, founder and CEO of Farmgirl Flowers . Then came the coronavirus outbreak . With the spread of COVID-19 making its deadly path around the world, local and state officials have raced to shutdown all non-essential businesses . Stembel had to close her entire operation within 12 hours once the shelter-in-place order went into place for the Bay Area, and soon after for the entire state of California, on March 15. "As we’re coming up on Mother’s Day, what we like to call the Super Bowl of the flower industry, we’re now in a race against the clock to restructure the company in a way that will allow us to supply the demand we need to be there," Stembel says, explaining that May revenue is critical to get through the summer months, when demand for flower delivery typically declines by as much as 30% to 50%. "That revenue is the stopgap that allows us to not lay off our team and continue to pay the high Bay Area overhead costs that don’t see the same 30% to 50% decline that sales do during that time," Stembel says. Courtesy of Pixies and Petals […]

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