CCBR Business Review

7 Roses Only picks Coast for growth N E W S ROSES ONLY, AUSTRALIA’S largest online flower seller sees the Central Coast and the Lower Hunter as a significant growth area over the next five years and has set up a distribution centre at West Gosford to service the area. Chairman and major shareholder, Jack Singleton, said that the location in Enterprise Close, West Gosford to service the region was a decision based on data that showed the Central Coast was the ninth biggest market in Australia and grow- ing, and as a distribution centre across the Coast and into Newcastle West Gosford is the most effective location. Not only that, with the opening of North Connex very soon it will be the right location to service the northern suburbs of Sydney. “The data we have shows that spending on flowers on the Central Coast is strong and growing and the average price per sale is above the industry average,”said Mr Singleton. “We also see a strong market here for corporate gifts,” he said. “Our plan is to have 10 delivery centres servicing the major cities and 10 centres across regional Australia over the next five years,” Mr Singleton said. Currently the Central Coast distribution centre is the 8th to be established with oth- ers in Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney, Perth, Canberra, Gold Coast and Newcastle. The company has appointed Angela Hewitt, a local person, as Manager of the West Gosford centre and is aiming to employ around fifteen local staff in the lead up to Christmas. The Central Coast is home to a growing number of flower growers and Mr Singleton said that Roses Only are already doing busi- ness with them. FlowersCorp Group the owners of the Roses Only and 1300 Flowers brands was started by Mr Singleton in 2004, a few years after he returned from a stint in New York working for ad agency JWT.  It was while in the US that he discovered the size of the online market for cut flowers which at around $4 billion and growing at over 10% per year is massive. The biggest player in the US online market was 1800 Flowers. “When I returned to Australia I wanted to get right into this business so I set up FlowersCorp Group marketing under the 1300 Flowers name (the 1300 number being the Australian equal to the US 1800),” said Mr Singleton. “We launched in Brisbane in 2004 with the 1300 Flowers brand because Brisbane had good TV coverage and we saw it as an efficient market to start in,” he said.  “It was a great success which gave us the confidence to invest further and open next in Sydney at St Peters, which is our largest market now.” Mr Singleton said that while he was happy with their growth there was no question that they had a strong competitor with an even stronger band name – Roses Only – and had been around since 1995 and became an online brand in 1999. “By 2014 we decided that it was time to make an offer for the brand and were suc- cessful in negotiating the deal. Today Roses Only is the market leader of the floral segment of the Delivered Gifts category in Australia which according to IBISWorld has a market size of $257 million. Looking forward, FlowersCorp Group aims to achieve annual revenue of $100 million through delivered flowers and gifts, and the company is already more than half way there. Roses Only chairman Jack Singleton and Central Coast manager Angela Hewitt CENTRAL COAST BUSINESS REVIEW OCTOBER 2020