The concept of modern malls in India has been slow in catching up with the trend of stocking flowers. The trade has been traditionally reserved for road-side vendors.
Be it an occasion to mourn, observe or celebrate, a bouquet of freshly chopped flowers always fits the bill. The fact that flowers don’t grow in abundance make them all the more special. The concept of modern malls in India has been slow in catching up with the trend of stocking flowers. The trade has been traditionally reserved for road-side vendors.
La Fleur, the first of its kind bouquet brand, has stepped in to give flower business a spin of genteel sophistication in India. Branded bouquets are now adorning the shelves of retail malls like Big Bazaar, Star Bazaar, Reliance Mart and Godrej’s Nature’s Basket in Mumbai, Pune and Bengaluru.
The brand started to spread fragrance from 36 sale points in these malls, and plans to grow its presence pan India. It is eyeing markets in Delhi, Hyderabad and Chennai, with 200 sales points in two years. La Fleur’s first pack house was set up at Talegaon in Pune, with a capacity to produce around 10,000 bouquets a day. Its logistics arm obtains flowers from Talegaon, Bengaluru, Ooty. Soon, Chandigarh will be added to the list.
Founder and CEO Hariharan Subramanian said the supermarkets were not stocking and supplying flowers because of inefficient logistics networks, inconsistent supply and customer habits. There was also a lack of clarity regarding capital investments, he said. The floral sector is mostly unorganised here and lacks a dedicated category, the CEO said. The brand could sense the need as the Indian markets are ready for a leap, Subramanian said.
Their entry into the space would mean assured supply, product uniformity, seamless movement from farm to stores with temperature-controlled trucks taking care of delivery , the CEO said.
The company will contact small and marginal growers for a consistent supply at a fixed price, assuring them a round-the-year market for their produce, Subramanian said.
Le Fleur is a brand of IANNIM Bouquets, promoted by Orion Flora and Indifresh. The firm has been exporting flowers from India to the UK and other European markets since 2012. Orion Flora has been working with small, marginal and medium-size growers in India to export fresh-cut flowers for the purpose. Indifresh is the largest importer of Indian horticulture products into the UK, and has been a preferred supplier of roses to leading supermarkets across the EU for several years.
Subramanian said they would be using the supply chain built for the exports to tap the domestic market. The firm has been strengthening the supply chain in India — especially with regard to roses. The Talegaon facility handles sorting, post-harvest work, designing of bouquets and deploying of consignments through the cold chain.
The company plans to set up similar centres in several other strategic locations across India. The La Fleur value range is available at Rs 250 per bouquet, followed by monoline bouquets at Rs 360, mixed bouquets at Rs 585. Premium bouquets will be available at Rs 920. The company plans on-line shops in the next two months with a subscription model in place.