Online florist’s sales bloom as brick and mortar shops wither in pandemic

Warren de Guzman, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 26 2020 06:41 PM

Flowerstore.ph website on a mobile phone. ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Online flower sales are blooming after the pandemic shuttered brick and mortar shops, an online flower seller said Monday.

Flowerstore.ph founder and CEO Saul Molla said 2020 has been a banner year for the company as demand for flower deliveries increased substantially. 

Molla said that while a lot of flower shops in malls and other commercial areas needed to close, online shops like his continued to remain open. The pandemic has also changed consumer behavior, with many now preferring to order online instead of physically visiting stores, he said. 

“But overall, all the online business has been doing very well because people appreciate being able to order without having to go anywhere now that it is complicated to go out of the house,” Molla said. 

Molla is a Spanish national who moved to the Philippines 5 years ago when he was still connected with Lazada. He started flowerstore.ph in 2018. It caters to Metro Manila, Cebu, and Davao.

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According to Molla, typhoon Quinta and the government’s decision to close cemeteries from Oct. 29 to Nov. 4 have affected their sales for Undas, which normally sends their revenues spiking up to 30 times their daily average. 

Despite this, flowerstore.ph is on track to tripling its sales. 

"Basically last year we were already doing over P100 million in sales. For this year, we will be doing over P300 million in sales. despite the pandemic. And despite having some bad months like the business has been really growing.” 

Those revenues exclude Vietnam, which Flowerstore expanded to last year, he said. 

Molla said the boom in online sales has also helped the flower farm industry amid the pandemic. 

“From a supplier point of view, I think they are very happy with us,” he said. 

With many flower stores in malls and brick and mortar shops closed because of the pandemic, flower farmers had no one to sell their products to, Molla said.

“But because somehow online is getting back all the part of the market that… online is basically compensating. All in all, the market situation, it's not very different than it was like last year, but probably there has been a very big shift from offline to online."

Molla said he has a team constantly looking for flower suppliers and farmers. He said 95 percent of flowerstore.ph’s products are locally sourced.