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It’s a $100 billion industry.
LOS ANGELES — The offer sounded great for a busy guy at work. Just click on Amazon Prime to have Valentine’s Day flowers delivered to my home by Wednesday, guaranteed.
But as of 12:35 p.m. PT Wednesday, the $44.35 “romantic classic red-rose bouquet” had not arrived. Instead, it turns out, I fell victim to the details. The guaranteed Wednesday delivery didn’t specify a time Monday when I ordered them.
When I checked Wednesday afternoon for the tracking information, Amazon offered more information. Arrival time “by 8 p.m.”, when my wife and I will out for Valentine’s dinner.
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So I just ran over to the whole Amazon-owned Whole Foods market, which still had plenty of flowers available, where two dozen roses can be had for at $19.99 if you’re a Prime member, or $24.99 if you aren’t or can’t remember your sign-in and password. (That would be me. I didn’t want to go fishing on my mobile phone for the sign-in, so I just paid the extra $5 to nab the flowers and be out of there.)
When I returned to my desk, I noticed Amazon’s Prime Now offering, which is available in select cities, promising two-hour delivery, not from Whole Foods, but other retailers. In my case, a dozen roses was available for $14.99 from Sprout’s, another food store, but there’s a $20 minimum order, and a suggested tip of $5.
It’s lower priced than the Whole Foods deal (even though it’s one dozen, vs. two dozen from Whole Foods) though one wonders about the quality of the flowers. The collection at Whole Foods was fairly picked over.
Good to note for the next big holiday — mark your calendars! — for flowers, Mother’s Day.
My experience is that supermarkets have the most aggressive prices, but lower quality stems. Online vendors offer (usually reliable) delivery and higher grade flowers. Here’s how a dozen of red roses compares today:
TheBouqs — $50 with free delivery.
BloomThat — $75 plus shipping.
1800Flowers — $79.99 plus shipping.