Its no secret that Valentines Day is big business and an ever-increasing number of people order flowers for loved ones (253 million spent in 2006, BRC figures).
Unlike the endless tales of woe from online retailers at Christmas, the flower industry continues to deliver on time at Valentines Day every year. Despite the comparatively small window of opportunity (flowers arriving on the 15th never did anyone any good) there are no stock shortage stories or delivery issues - and theres rarely an incorrect name, flower colour or delivery day. Years of experience have taught florists to get it right, they manage to incorporate phone, Internet and in-store orders, and yet the rest of the retail industry struggles.
Retailers could learn from this approach to be better prepared for busy periods, and ensure stock levels meet customer demands throughout the rest of the year.
Valentines Day shows how much money consumers are willing to spend at one peak time. The importance of an efficient supply chain is obvious no retailer wants to miss out on its slice of the pie. Having a dynamic logistics process in place that uses mobile printing technology and track and trace techniques will ensure products be they flowers or otherwise are in the right place at the right time.
Consumers who have a good sales experience during a busy period will be more likely to return at non-peak times however it only takes one bad experience or one bunch of roses delivered a day late for a retailer to lose its reputation for good.