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Roses are red, violets are sold out. As people seek little pick-me-ups to brighten their mood during anxious times, the demand for flowers has soared. Online searches for flowers have spiked, driving Morrisons to hire an additional 180 florists and expand its in-store spaces. We explore the insights behind the soaring flower sales and how people are brightening their days amid the pandemic.

At a time when retail is floundering and job insecurity is rife, Morrisons is adding 180 professional florists to its fleet of staff after online searches for flowers increased by 277% during lockdown. The supermarket aims to double the number of expert florists in their stores to a total of 300 and install an extra 60 florist stations in stores across the country. As of early September 2020, Morrisons sells over 4 million flower stems every week and offers a variety of 75 flowers. “Flowers make people feel happier – with their beautiful shapes, bright colours, and scents,” says Jane Watson, flowers manager at Morrisons. “It’s been a difficult year for the flower industry, and we hope this also provides good job prospects for florists looking for work.” 

As of early September 2020, Morrisons sells over 4 million flower stems every week
Waldemar Brandt (2019) ©

People are looking for ways to brighten their mood, and they’re purchasing inexpensive micro-indulgences to do so – it's called the ‘lipstick effect’. This has seen purchase behaviours shift from bigger luxuries to smaller mood-enhancing purchases: flowers, comfort foodchocolates, and haircuts are just a few of the categories benefitting from this ‘shoptimism’. Indeed, a survey conducted by YouGov in May 2020 indicates that 53% of Britons ordered a parcel to their home for non-essential reasons during the lockdown. The flower frenzy also speaks to a desire to connect with nature while many people are mostly at home. At a time when people are bypassing larger purchases to spend on smaller luxuries, brands can lean into this by creating accessible versions of their pricier products, such as Saint Laurent’s collaboration with Havaianas.

Precious Osoba is a junior behavioural analyst at Canvas8. Fascinated by the how's and why's of people & culture, she has a background in social sciences having studied Anthropology, Sociology & Communication & Culture prior to her Marketing Degree. You can often find her in aesthetically pleasing restaurants writing articles for her medium profile.


16 Sep 20
2 min read

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