- change ups
Eastern Floral opts for online presence over Plainfield location
Say goodbye to the flowers at Eastern Floral’s Plainfield Avenue shop.
Next week, the popular West Michigan-based floral store’s northern Grand Rapids location will be closing the doors to its 1,200-square-foot space at 5150 Northland Drive NE, said Bing Goei, Eastern Floral CEO.
Plainfield’s Eastern Floral location, which has been in operation for about five years, Goei said, was originally bought as a way to attract the local foot traffic. In recent years, however, the company has noticed that although sales are up, it’s not due to walk-in buyers, but rather online ones.
“We made the decision to not renew our lease there. In summary, it’s to recognize that as our Internet sales and website sales keeps growing, the buying habits and patterns of our clients are changing from going into our brick-and-mortar store to using the Internet,” he said. “There’s no need for us to have a large physical presence in the Northland area anymore.”
Eastern Floral sales and revenues are increasing, Goei said, but through online purchases, meaning the decision to close the Plainfield store will not result in any job loss, as the employees will be transferred to other locations.
Goei’s own children shop online more now, he said, so Eastern Floral is changing with the times.
“This is not a reduced sales decision, but increased sales in other areas. We will still be needing all of our staff,” he said. “It is not a decision caused by reduction in business. It’s really the opposite. It’s a positive change in our industry and we want to be proactive.”
The other six West Michigan Eastern Floral stores will remain open for now, Goei said, adding that Eastern Floral will keep a physical presence in Grand Rapids. Currently, however, his team is monitoring store revenues to see whether or not the majority of sales are coming from either physical or digital buyers. It’s hard to say whether more physical locations will close due to soaring online revenues, he said.
In the meantime, Eastern Floral will invest its dollars in upgrading its social media presence and website.
“We’re evaluating everything and looking at what each store is doing based on walk-in sales, and we’ll make decisions based on what is best for our customers,” he said.