Fannin flowers and garden center | Carl-A. Polhemus | Getty Images
Fannin flowers, a leading florist in Texas and the most efficient in the country, produces 600,000 roses, 250,000 tulips, 250,000 hydrangeas, and 130,000 daffodils per week, according to a statement released by the company. "We received over 3,700 floral orders on Father's Day alone. All of our customers are at least 75 percent local to our 10 stores, and 85 percent of our customers order online or by phone," the statement read. "We've set a new world record, having grown our flowers for the first time ever."
Fannin flower co-owner Chris King confirmed to CNBC that the company expects to have 90 percent of their business for 2019 from their online presence. But they are not always sold in-store. Rather, Fannin flowers is an online-only business for now. "I don't know the future," King said. "That's why it's so tough because what we do as a business is very short term, so I don't want to get into commitments to too many stores. You can see us grow like crazy online but you won't find us too much in store."
Chris King said there are no immediate plans for franchising. "We just see the next step as being more of an online-only business," King said. That would be a shift in strategy for the 500-year-old business. Although, the online option could be a departure from Fannin flowers' roots, King said. "We have 600,000 arrangements in flower, so we have some strong roots in our history with online," he said. "Most florists are spread out around a state and our customers like that, and when they want to get something special for someone, they want to get it in person. I don't think we'll ever see a situation where we'll become a store-only operation."
Fannin flowers was founded in 1851 by Andrew Moore, a blacksmith by trade. Moore was selling flowers at parties and events in West Texas where he had been asked to perform, but didn't feel that he was getting enough money for his time. "He wasn't making enough money to provide for his family, so he decided to start his own business, which was a bigger commitment than anything he'd ever had," the company's statement read. "As the business grew, it developed into a mail-order business and an international one. Today, Fannin Flowers is the largest mail-order, wholesale floral business in the world."
Andy Moore's birthday cake | Fannin flowers
Fannin flowers' growth into a global floral business has been steep, in a decade growing to be the largest business in North America and the largest florist in the United States. Fannin flowers makes and distributes over 3 million flowers every year across 10 retail locations in Texas, including a showroom in Houston, Texas that sells plants, plants, plants. The flower shop in Cedar Park, Texas is the largest florist in the country. And a showroom in Dallas, Texas specializes in boutiques for women and home decor. And Fannin flowers has partnerships with most major floral brands including Bouffant and Fortunate Farms. Fannin flowers has around 2 million floral arrangements made and shipped across the world. Its most popular products include white roses, red roses, alstroemeria, azaleas, calla lilies, Christmas and tulips.
Fannin flowers has a million-dollar budget for one week of business and $1.2 million for one month, according to the statement. King estimated that 90 percent of the company's revenue comes from its online presence. "It's all online," King said. "We're not in 100 percent of the stores, and we're probably going to get more online, but most of our business comes from online."
The American rose
Fannin flowers produces between 400 and 500 arrangements of roses every day and King said they got rid of all of their snowbirds this year. He said that they need to be local. "We do 90 percent local right now and for the future, it's going to go online only," King said.
In their 70s and 80s and the middle of the flower industry, both King and his co-owner, Brad Wilson, didn't see the shift coming. "We were looking at the next 10 to 20 years of our future and there were very few companies that were considering an online strategy or online exclusively," Wilson said. "We were looking for about a 10 percent decline in retail. "We sat down and went through the metrics that make a business, and we said we don't need to have all of our stores, we don't need all of our production, we don't need all the work that's required," Wilson said. "We can easily get most of that through a partnership with a wholesaler and an online presence."
Fannin flowers | Carl-A. Polhemus | Getty Images
Their store, at 900 E. Main St., was remodeled in 2017 with the help of their own company, Club Fannin. The company donated the remodeling cost, and Fannin flowers raised money by selling $50 and $100 club cards that customers could purchase. They also sold bandanas and scarves with the flower store's logo. "It's just a local thing that makes