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E-commerce strengthens flower retailing

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By the time modern flower retailer Ferns ‘N’ Petals (FnP) introduces its IPO in September-October 2010, it would also have opened around 120 outlets across the country.

With around 80 outlets operational and more outlets planned, the company feels that strengthening the backend is the way forward in the country’s organised flower retail scene.

Speaking to Indiaretailing, Ritu Chopra, head, corporate communications, Ferns ‘N’ Petals, said, “Flower is a perishable commodity, and we have to strengthen our backend to make this business profitable. We have devised an extensive strategy to focus more on our backend and supply chain. The e-commerce model has a global outlook and is recognised worldwide.”

For the company, the major percentage of revenue comes through its e-commerce model.

Explaining the model, Chopra said that the company has strategically partnered some local vendors to get orders delivered at the right time, as e-commerce makes the process faster. “We have our outlets in all the major cities in India, and have partnered local vendors, who help in delivering products. A similar strategy works to deliver across the world,” informed Chopra.

Speaking about their collections, Chopra said, “We source our collection from various farms and have a huge variety in offer. All our 80 outlets and our e-commerce model offer the same variety of flowers. Thus, we can deliver the same product anywhere in India.”

The company feels there is no competition in the market as there are not many organised players at present. “We offer more variety than what the street-side vendors have, and they obviously cannot have a stronger backend. On the e-commerce front, we do have some competitors, but we have more things to offer,” informed Chopra.

The company had announced that it will raise around Rs 250 crore through an initial public offering (IPO) in 2010, which could see promoters diluting about 30 per cent stake.

“The IPO will come up by September-October in 2010. We are still in talks with investors and other firms and might consider diluting 30 per cent stake,” Vikaas Gutgutia, managing director, Ferns ‘N’ Petals, said in a statement.

– Satrajit Sen

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