Florist takes on supermarkets

Date: 16/03/2012

Glasgow based florist, Nick Priestly  this week launches a new consultancy service to help independent florists across the UK take back their sales from the supermarkets and petrol station forecourts.

With only 35% of the floristry markets now done through high-street florists, Nick Priestly Floral Solutions will help independent florists find new avenues for their services, aimed at taking back their share in the UK’s £1.7 billion flower industry.

Nick Priestly Celebrity Florist

Priestly, a celebrity florist  who has a degree in accounting  and worked in tax in the City of London, before returning to his native Scotland, believes the market has huge potential  but needs to be approached more commercially.

“Mother’s Day can be seen as the start of a difficult time for independent florists with the big commercial peaks of Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day behind us. In Europe flower buying is not restricted to special occasions. People often spend up to £100 per year on flowers while in the UK it’s currently a paltry £28.

“Flowers might be the ultimate discretionary purchase but they are also an affordable luxury which has a great feel good return on investment. Florists can survive and flourish in a recession but they need to focus on providing something different; something the supermarkets can’t and that is individuality and more sophisticated design.”

Priestly set up Mood Flowers with his wife in 2003 and has turned what is traditionally thought of as “a lifestyle business”, into a profitable enterprise handling 200 weddings a year and contracts with most of the five star hotels in the West of Scotland.  

The business also includes a Flower School where Priestly shares his skills with enthusiastic amateurs and fellow professionals. In 10 years, Mood Flowers has grown to one of UK’s leading independents with business income of £500k.

The new consultancy offers mentoring, business coaching and staff training. A book is also in development.

Priestly intends to continue his involvement in Mood Flowers but having been approached by a number of independent florists and trade suppliers for commercial advice and design services and he can see the opportunity to grow the market as a whole.

“For me, it’s about making floristry more accessible and moving away from its traditional staid image to a sector that is attractive, creative and hugely exciting.”

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Notes to editors

Industry Stats:

  • UK fresh cut flower market =  £1.7 billion pa*
  • Independent retailers have 35% of market share = £595 million*
  • £28 per head p.a. on flowers*
  • 60% for own home*
  • Potential growth - in Europe £60 - £100 p.a. per head spend*

*Source: Flower and Plant Association/TNS

About Nick Priestly

  • Nick has travelled in Europe, USA and Asia demonstrating his design skills and writing about world floristry.
  • Demonstration work with industry producers including, Country Baskets and Marjoland in Holland
  • Writes a monthly column on International trends for leading UK trade publication UK Florist and Wholesale Buyer
  • Resident florist on STV’s The Hour for two years

Client List

  • Tom Cruise
  • Will Smith
  • Thandie Newton
  • Hotel du Vin at One Devonshire Gardens
  • Cameron House
  • Blythswood Square
  • Jo Malone
  • Ralph Lauren
  • Christian Dior
  • Serge Lutens

Example Recipients of Nick’s designs:

  • Rihanna
  • P Diddy
  • Cyndi Lauper
  • Keira Knightley
  • Kylie Minogue
  • Joan Rivers
  • HRH Princess Anne

Company Profile

Real PR is working with Nick Priestly, Scotland's best known florist. If you need a case study, arrangement for press use or expert comment get in touch and Nick will be happy to help.