CT florists explain why customers should buy locally - WFSB 3 Connecticut

CT florists explain why customers should buy locally

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John Tornatore, who is the owner of the Gordon Bonetti Florist, works on an arrangement. (WFSB) John Tornatore, who is the owner of the Gordon Bonetti Florist, works on an arrangement. (WFSB)
ROCKY HILL, CT (WFSB) -

If you’re shelling out big bucks this Valentine’s day, you’re not alone. 

The National Retail Federation estimates people will spend nearly $2 billion for flowers alone. However, local florists explained that many people are wasting money by using some of the big name services.  

Julie Zadjura was finishing off the roughly 200 orders at her shop, The Root System, on Wednesday. She was filling orders for Valentine’s Day.

Her strong customer base was built in part with help from Teleflora, which is a huge company that takes phone and online orders from people, and goes through local florists to arrange and deliver them.

Connecticut florists said their cut can be hefty. When Zadjura was partnered with Teleflora, she said it cost her more than $100 dollars per month and 20 percent of each sale. Six years ago, she dumped the company.

“They increased their fees, their requirements, buy their containers, buy their advertising,” Zadjura said. “All of those things were getting very costly.”

Eyewitness news reached out to Teleflora about the fees local florists face. 

“We provide national marketing campaigns that drive business to the local florist, and groundbreaking technology infrastructure to successfully promote consumer awareness and orders for florists in a competitive marketplace,” Teleflora told Eyewitness News in a statement on Friday.

Local florists said consumers lose a lot of value too. One bouquet delivered is $63.75 from the regular florist in Connecticut. It's also $63.75 if you get it through an FTD or Telaflora site. The one on FTD or Telaflora site is obviously much smaller. 

“Rhey are definitely better off to call a local florist, a real florist,” John Tornatore, who is the owner of the Gordon Bonetti Florist, said.

Tornatore said service fees can run customers up to $30.

“This is my second year I've been here,” customer Vincent Fabi said. “They have great products.”

Fabi for one said he would rather visit a florist in person and make his orders. A choice that isn’t just about the fees.

“You're sponsoring small businesses,” Fabi said.

To read the full statement from Teleflora, click here

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