Iowa Florist Buys Andicott Shops

October 30, 2007
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GRAND RAPIDS — Andicott Fresh Flower Market, a seven-store European-style flower shop, has been sold to Boesen The Florist of Des Moines, Iowa.

The name will stay the same and Andicott’s 40 employees are expected to stay on the job, said Andicott partner Andy Lacy. The Grand Rapids market will be managed by Andicott partner Scott Lillie.

“We have developed a fairly elaborate business model over the past three or four years. It’s a model we have been dreaming about for a long time,” Lacy said. “They are going to implement it. We will have a significant amount of upgrades and changes that are going to take place.”

Ed Boesen and his brothers, Tom and Frank Boesen, are taking the Des Moines floral shop started by their grandparents onto the World Wide Web and to cities across the Midwest. Since 2002, the company has purchased florists in Milwaukee, Omaha and Chicago, Tom Boesen said. The Andicott purchase will bring the company to 38 retail locations.

He said his company is particularly interested in Andicott’s cash-and-carry approach and a program that allows bridal parties to make their own bouquets.

“I don’t see it being duplicated. It’s a great idea and a very profitable business,” Boesen said. “We bought the business so we could copy some of the parts. Being a larger company, you can imagine there are other synergies. We have the resources to help it grow.”

“We’ve done 600 self-service weddings this calendar year. It’s mostly the 20 to 25 age group — new customers entering into the market,” Lacy said. “That always has been our focus, and our mission is to create a new culture for the way people thing about fresh flowers.”

Boesen said he expects Andicott’s cash-and-carry and do-it-yourself approaches to be imported to other stores, while Lacy said Boesen The Florist will give Andicott more emphasis on the Internet and will add delivery and other traditional services such as pre-arranged flowers for funerals. Lacy said he also expects the staff will grow as services are added.

“I would say we can expect some pretty substantial increases in the number of employees as we enter into the full-service market,” Lacy said.

Boesen said he expects the Andicott acquisition to make his company more competitive in a tough flower market. Boesen gets 80 percent of its business from telephone or Internet orders, he added.

“We are losing florists everyday because of the type of competition. It’s becoming so tough,” Boesen said. “We have a lot of confidence in our management skills. We also believe in technology.”     

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