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Although supermarkets and garden supply stores sell flower arrangements and decorative green plants at low prices, specialized florist shops have better quality products and better selection. Florists also have the proper equipment, such as refrigerated cases, to keep their products fresh. Above all, florists give personalized service, including hand delivery in their local areas.

Florists sell flower arrangements, or even individual flowers, like roses, for use as romantic or sentimental gifts for birthdays, anniversaries, new babies, or no occasion at all. In addition to the flowers themselves, a full service florist shop might also sell vases, flowerpots, decorative dried plants, ribbons, and other accessories. When customers need elaborate floral arrangements for weddings, celebrations, funerals or other events, they rely on the design skills of their local florist.

Most florists belong to one of the several flowery delivery network services (formerly called “flower-by-wire” services). A customer looks through a catalog at the shop of a local member florist, browses a website, or calls a toll-free telephone number. Once the customer pays and gives delivery instructions, the network relays the information to a florist near the delivery location, who assembles the product and delivers it. Reliability issues sometimes arise for these services, which tend to be expensive, and delivery does not always occur at the promised time. Peak times for flower delivery include Christmas, Mother’s Day, and Valentine’s Day.

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