Watch for our new flower delivery van!

CitiFloral welcomes the newest member of our family: Our new floral delivery van ready to carry our flowers and our message through the streets of Manhattan.Our hats off to Liz Santoro-Frieda of Vinyl Images for the artwork on our van and Joyen Pendowski for creating our logo.

Flower Delivery Van

Our New van

New York Botanical Garden presents Orchid Evenings

If you are in the New York area of if you are planning on visiting New York, make sure you buy tickets for one of the Orchid Evenings at the New York Botanical Gardens. Enjoy a complementary cocktail, live music and a stroll through the Botanical Gardens exhibit of Orchids. What a great way to spend a Saturday evening in March and April!
Saturdays, March 5, 12, 19, 26, and April 2, 9, 16;
Friday, April 15; Thursday, March 24 (LGBT Night);
6:30–9:30 p.m. (entry times at 6:30, 7, & 7:30 p.m.)
Learn more about it and how to buy tickets http://www.nybg.org/exhibitions/2016/orchid-show/evenings.php

And if the show inspires you to want to give an orchid arrangement. We can help with that.

Orchid arrangement

PACIFIC PARADISE ARRANGEMENT

An ocean of purple orchids in a glass vase. You’ll swim in a sea of smiles. Limited availability. May require 24 hour advance notice.

Approx. 20.0h x 12.0w Order now for same day delivery

Are florists service charges necessary?

I had gleaned some materials concerning service charges introduced to me by Joe Chacko when I started formulating this article on service charges.

I found that the researchers and industry people were aware of the rather draconian service and other charges imposed by online floral vendors–but that the issue was generally hidden from the gullible public.

The practice of charging exorbitant service fees by order gatherers is a serious impediment to the public image of the retail floral industry.

The industry has progressed over the last three decades–during which we’ve been in business–from one in which individual florists were the heart of the industry bound together by wire services–most prominently FTD and Teleflora–into one in which large order gathering organizations (including wire services) now receive the bulk of the orders that they then distribute to individual florists to fulfill.

Because of the dominance of the order gatherers, we have morphed from a net sender of orders (to other florists) into a shop that primarily receives orders from wire services and other order gatherers and delivers them locally.

Traditionally, florists charged a local delivery charge and a service charge for outgoing wire orders.

Both were reasonable and generally competitive.

With the advent of the internet and order gathers, the mysterious service charge became a fundamental part of the order.

There was no rhyme or reason for service charges or their amounts–but online order gatherers found that it was a way to get an extra flat fee on every order they processed.

This service charge was a different animal from the wire charge–as the norm was no longer the sending of out-of-town orders from one florist to another.

Order gatherers were already getting 20% of an order–and if they were a wire service, 27%.

The service charge just added a flat amount to their take from an order–a part they didn’t have to share with another florist or a wire service.

And, because customers rarely questioned service charges, they didn’t have to answer yo anyone.

We formulated our policies on delivery and service charges when we launched our first internet website, citifloral.com.

At first, florists were charging their traditional distance-based delivery charges and out-of-town wire service charges online.

They also competed with each other with relatively insignificant discounts like 10%.

We realized that online customers would choose a florist based on the delivery charge of the location if the charge varied–and that the best practice would be to just make allowance for some delivery cost in the price of products.

We therefore eliminated the delivery charge altogether–as some online florists were starting to do to be competitive.

We also realized that customers would eschew a florist who would charge more for a delivery out-of-town–and we wanted customers to feel comfortable sending flowers anywhere with us.

So, we never imposed a delivery or wire charge on out-of-town orders.

We never saw the justification for a service charge–so we never imposed one either.

We thought this was the best deal in the industry–no delivery or service charge whatsoever.

As other online florist dropped delivery charges–or included them in the price of a product–we were left with one policy that no one else could match:

We do not impose a service charge on any order of an online product on any of our websites–whether the order is placed online, by phone or fax, or in person.

We feel that achieves a level of consumer fairness and transparency that is unique in the floral industry.

The price you see is the price you pay (plus tax)–no delivery or service fees!

Paying a service and other innocuous fees can make a product with a relatively cheap stated price much more expensive when you get the final bill,.

In fact, most of the floral websites charging service charges secret until you get to checkout.

And then then spring it on you–hoping that you miss it–or that you decide you;ve gone too far and you’ere just going to finish the order and be done with it.

They fool you by showing you a low price–which looks very good competitively.

To make you think you’re getting a real bargain, they’ll offer you a hefty discount percentage==which is paid for out of the exorbitant service charge.

When all is said and done, you pay us less for a comparable product.

I did a little research on some of most popular florist order gatherer websites.

Here are the service charges you uncover if you make it all the way to the checkout:

FTD: 17.99
Teleflora: 15.99
1800flowers: 17.98
From You Fkowers: 14.99

Plus other hidden charges that they add into your bill.

Moral of the story: Beware of hidden service charges on floral orders because they can make a purchase very expensive.

Go with CitiFloral–and you’ll always know what you’re being charged.’

Consumer fairness and transparency are always the best policy’

Review – Thank You Citifloral

A few months back I contacted CitiFloral in hopes of receiving a Floral donation for the annual P.R.I.D.E. Brunch at the Legendary SOB’s (Sounds of Brazil) located 200 Varick St. in NYC, and to my surprise they agreed… I was extremely impressed by not only the professionalism but the follow up leading to the actual event date. Jeff Gaster was the Absolute Best!!! he created nothing short of artistic masterpieces that were the perfect addition to a great event.
The attention to detail was impeccable, and to say the least they knew exactly what our room needed. Each arrangement was created with such passion and love… and If you LOVE flowers as much as I do… You know the difference…
From a very general idea of color and theme Jeff & CitiFloral Inc. created breathtaking visions that wow’d each and every guest. I highly recommend using CitiFloral for ALL of your floral needs.. Bridal, Holiday, Anniversary etc… They Rock!!!
Thank you Jeff Gaster and CitiFloral not only for helping make this seasons brunch a total success but for bringing smiles and joy to each person who was able to experience your artistic talent and greatness…
I eagerly look forward to the many years to come, and sharing my experience with anyone needing to simply bring a smile to someone’s heart, home, office, and special event…
Blessings to you all..
Sha’lik Hartford

Poinsettia Plants On Sale

We’re offering a 20% discount on orders of 5 or more poinsettia plants going to the same address.

The promo code is “poinsettia20.”

All a customer has to do is enter the code during checkout online or when placing an order by phone or fax.

Offer ends December 26th 2015.

Holiday Floral Arrangements


SHOP ONLINE

It’s getting to that time of year when poinsettias were normally the king of holiday floral products.

While poinsettias have become commonplace and ubiquitous, there is still a market niche for us to fill.

While we are not able to compete with the mass merchandisers on price, we can provide a better product–as we do with orchid plants.

Every plant we deliver comes from a trusted source and is fresh and lasting.

No poinsettia goes out the door without being dressed properly–in as simple or decorative basket, bow and moss.

Other accouterments such as branches and Christmas green can be added to make the presentation even more festive.

Since holiday decorating will be starting around late Thanksgiving this year, we now carry all appropriate poinsettia products at uniform prices starting this week.

We would offer a 10% discount on orders of 4 or more poinsettias to a single address. Call us for that discount


SHOP ONLINE

CitiFloral celebrates the 45th annual New York City Marathon this Sunday.

The other big event, besides Halloween,this weekend here in New York–this Sunday, Nov. 1–is the Road Runners 45th annual New York City Marathon–the world’s iconic foot race.

Marathon Madness will take over the city–and during, before and after the race many roads will be closed to traffic.

New York City Marathon

New York City Marathon

Because the stretch run of the race is on First Avenue–one block from our store–almost all daytime deliveries in Manhattan will be impossible to make.
Our official hours this Sunday will be 8-11 am–prior to the time the runners pass us.
Same-day delivery service will not be available this Sunday as a result.
And, there will be no time guarantees for any advance orders placed for Sunday delivery.

To mark the Marathon celebration, we have created a “running shoe garden”.

The design was inspired by a novel request we received from a customer many years ago for many years ago for a fresh arrangement in a running shoe.

It was such a cute idea that we thought we’d bring it back to life again this time around.
Good luck to all the runners!

Response to an online reviewer

Online Reviews are everywhere and we respond to them when we can. We have great ones and we have some not so great ones. Even we have a bad day or a misunderstanding. But sometimes a reviewer says something that just needs to be set straight not just for us, but for all of the small flower shops in New York.
In August we had a review that claimed the single rose they purchased was overpriced considering you could buy flowers so cheaply in grocer stores.
Here is our response.
“We have built our business during the last three decades with great lasting success based on our desire to provide exceptional flowers and customer service. So, it is with great sorrow that we read your tale of woes. We at CitiFloral pride ourselves on our commitment to a level of fair dealing with customers that we, as consumers, hope than any business would provide. We offer a no-holds-barred customer guarantee of quality, elegance, value, service and freshness.

In the rare instance of customer dissatisfaction, we take all steps needed to remedy the situation. So, let me start off by saying that the issues raised in this commentary would have been dealt with if they had been addressed to us directly at any time. Having read the review, we will take immediate steps to remedy any shortfalls we may have been guilty of.

We are very proud of the extensive selection of fresh flowers–including roses–that we offer at all times. In fact, people are often surprised that we carry just about every flower your heart might desire in such a diminutive flower shop. Our flowers are carefully selected and maintained. Any stems that have matured so they no longer meet our standards of quality and freshness are removed from our stock of flowers suitable for sale or use.

These unwanted flowers do not go wanting, though. They are included in the complimentary daily offerings placed in front of our store for neighbors and passersby to take to beautify their lives and homes. A CitiFloral tradition of good will since 9/11.

Michael: I’m very sorry if you felt as though you were being taken advantage of during your experience with us. We pride ourselves on our honesty and fairness—and you made some serious charges that called our virtuousness into question. I can assure you that we would never sell any flowers to a customer that we wouldn’t give to our own loved ones. Our roses are of the highest quality available to us. And we always maintain a fresh stock of many popular colors. In fact, our loyal customers will not buy their roses from anyone else because they know our flowers retain their beauty longer.

The roses you see at neighborhood delis are of a considerably lower grade than what we or any other full-service florist would carry. Their roses do not last long—and they are not tall or pretty. Yes, you can get all of two dozen for your $10 if your goal is a cheap price. You should know that the deli workers peel their roses back at night so the roses look fresh to the unwary consumer. We do not peel any outer petals until we remove them for use. When we do, this is just a standard industry procedure to remove outer rose petals normally damaged during shipping. That is not an indication that roses are old or “half dead.” If you feel that $6 a rose is beyond your budget, we are indeed sorry not to have fulfilled your price expectations. We can assure you that this is an average price charged by full-service quality Manhattan florists.

Contrary to the feeling that obviously motivated you to publish this review—if you got to know us as well as our longer-term, loyal customers—you would see that we strive to be fair, honest and transparent in our dealings with customers. In fact, we are the only florist that charges no service fee or regular delivery charge on any of our internet products. We consider it our moral obligation to avoid tacking on any hidden charges—as most competitors do. We’re truly sorry that your $6 purchase if a single rose caused so much consternation. We in no way intended to give you anything other than a quality product at a fair price. If you have any questions or issues you’d like me to address or to further discuss your experience, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me directly.

Best, Jeff, Owner

Are you following us on Facebook?

We have been on Facebook for some time now. If you are following us you know we offer special deals to our Facebook friends. Right now we have a coupon good for 15% off any product on our site. Of course you would know this if you followed us on Facebook…..just saying.
https://www.facebook.com/citifloral
facebook

What are your short-term growth plans….?

Question 5.
What are your short-term (1-2 years) and long-term growth plans for the business? How will this grant contribute to your plan?

Our objectives in the short and long term are congruent. Our business was more robust and effective when we our sales were consistent and growing. We could make more concrete plans for our future and better absorb costs inherent in proper functioning of the business. At that time, a large part of our sales were through the internet–which produce substantial cash flow to sustain the working capital of our business. In the short term, we would like to rebuild our 2 dormant websites and increase our internet marketing budget to increase our internet sales. We would also plan to replace at least one of our vehicles to reduce our related costs. As a result of the reduced sales we have experienced in recent years, we had to increase our indebtedness to maintain the standards set for our business, a creditworthy record that has satisfied our suppliers, and compensation necessary to retain our loyal, experienced staff. Accordingly, we anticipate reducing some of our indebtedness. Our objective for sales growth is for at least 10% in the coming year–with higher future growth dependent on the momentum generated from the achievement of goals that we can attain with infusion of the grant.