Scott’s Flowers NYC Takes the Flower Business to Corporate Heights

Manhattan’s leading florist, Scott’s Flowers, shows how a decades-old flower business can thrive in New York City.


New York, NY -- (SBWIRE) -- 02/10/2012 -- Scott’s Flowers, one of the leading florists of New York City, is one of the budding businesses on 37th Street off 5th Avenue, and owner Robert Palliser Sr. shows that his business’ success is no coincidence. Scott’s Flowers, a business that began in 1947, were acquired by Palliser in the late eighties, and the first secret to success in New York’s flower business that Palliser learned was that “a good deal on the lease means a lot in times like these.” This is especially true for a business in the hip, bustling, and not to mention, expensive environment of downtown Manhattan. Palliser opted for a smaller space with a better deal, which proved to be a good decision as it also placed him right at the center of Manhattan’s business district.

Its location played a role in Scott’s Flowers’ success in the corporate world. Now, a large part of the florist’s profits today comes from its corporate customers weekly flowers. While Robert’s cat, Scottie, calls out to passing consumers and lures them into the shop, Palliser uses a more aggressive approach to bring its flowers to the corporate world. In a brave yet very profitable marketing move, Scott’s Flowers sends a couple of its delivery people with 20 flower arrangements to each of the different office buildings nearby. The delivery people will give away the arrangements to each of the offices in the building, starting at the top. It’s an expensive yet risky tactic, but with Palliser’s expertise in the flower business, he manages to make it work. In return, 15% of the businesses who receive their gifts eventually become regular customers.

“That’s a good rate of return,” Robert says, comparing it to the 2-3% return rate of direct mail marketing. “When you do a mailer, half of them get thrown away by the recipients, unopened and unread.”

This tactic also brings in two sets of customers: the companies themselves, and their employees. Thus, Palliser makes sure they have products that meet the varying needs, tastes, and means of both the corporate bosses and their secretaries, customer-service agents, technical support agents, and so on.

The success of Scott’s Flowers can be largely attributed to Palliser’s keen knowledge of his business and his confidence in his products. “Nobody ever throws away my vase of tulips,” he says of the corporate gifts he sends out. But what really made the florist successful in the more competitive environment of New York is his ability to understand his market. “People here are always in a hurry,” he observes. Palliser reveals another success tactic: “The customer faces minimal delay in getting back out the door.” In the corporate business, the same philosophy holds true. The secret, Palliser says, is that if “someone wants flowers there in an hour, it’s there in an hour.”