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European online flower and gift delivery company Arena Flowers has signed a deal with US-based ProFlowers.com to fulfil orders delivered to outside of North America.
The result of the partnership is ProFlowers International, a service that allows ProFlowers to offer its US customers delivery to global destinations through a seamless branded experience.
ProFlowers’ parent company is Provide Commerce, which is in turn owned by media conglomerate Liberty Media. Liberty, through various divisions and sub companies, has stakes in the likes of QVC, Viacom, Expedia and Barnes & Noble. To put it lightly, the group knows it commerce.
UK-based Arena buys its own flowers from growers and Dutch flower auctions, then makes up and delivers bouquets direct to recipients. By controlling the supply chain, Arena says that it can guarantee quality, freshness and experience (including the fact that customers can upload a photograph to be sent with flowers).
Arena Flowers CEO & co-founder Will Wynne said that Provide Commerce is a spectacular success story by any measure, having in a matter of years gone from a young emerging growth company to an established US market leader in a competitive landscape. The two companies are most definitely on the same growth path.
Both companies also take less than traditional approaches to the business of delivering flowers. Arena currently runs six localised websites that provide a full end-to-end experience in the UK, Holland, Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, France, Ireland, Austria and Denmark. The international flower delivery service (outside of Arena’s own distribution zone) is offered on every site and fulfilled by a highly qualified third-party partner.
It also runs targeted ad campaigns in conjunction with brands like L'Oreal on Mother's Day and Sega for Valentine's, has a great Facebook app and Twitter presence - and runs branded websites for the British Heart Foundation and Cancer Research UK with 20% of its net profit from these going to charity.
Whereas Proflowers’ platform combines an online storefront, proprietary supply chain management technology and established supplier relationships to create a market platform that bypasses traditional floral supply chains of wholesalers, distributors and retailers.
For years, the flower delivery market has remained near stagnant. Arena’s new model is a refreshing change for online commerce in this area on its own and the announcement of such a prominent – and potentially lucrative - partnership only strengthens this.