Goodbye to Golden Rose
"I could have kept going for longer," Kliber says, speaking from her home, where she's doing a bit of custom work for other florists, "but retailing is a tough road right now. I just didn't see a future." Her toughest competition came from the box lots of flowers sold in supermarkets (including Busch's next door), Sam's Club, and elsewhere. "They're retailing them at a price at which I can't buy them wholesale." At that price, you don't get the quality, she adds, let alone the personalized service or the consulting.
Cheap supermarket flowers are not a new phenomenon, but corporations used to be important clients for retail flower shops, and Kliber says businesses don't spend as much as they used to on flowers (one of her biggest customers was Pfizer, which, of course, now spends nothing at all). Kliber laments that she's out of sync with the times: "I have a more European concept of flowers. You don't do it for holidays. You do it because the concept itself has value."