Despite the common belief that 'bigger is better', sometimes it isn’t always helpful to open up a new location, or even expand their existing location, as some business owners have discovered.
Husband and wife team Stu White and Jodie McGregor, of Jodie McGregor Flowers, have toyed with the idea of expanding their 35-square-metre florist into something bigger. However, they feel that the physical expansion of their premises would actually cost the business more than it gains, by losing the boutique feel they have worked so hard to achieve.
“It is a little bit restricted size-wise, but … we've thought about going to a bigger store and I don't think it would feel the same,” Jodie says.
The opportunity to expand recently presented itself to Jodie and Stu, but they decided to not to take it up.
“We had the opportunity just very recently to move into the store next door; a lot bigger,” Stu says.
“Bigger would be so much better in so many ways, but we just actually looked at it and went, ‘Actually, you know what? We lose something.’”
That something, according to the pair, has been servicing their local community in Annandale in Sydney's inner west. Despite the self-described “hectic” atmosphere, the community, and the customers within that community, is what drives Jodie McGregor Flowers.
Stu and Jodie had even established a second site, which was doing well for the business and remained profitable, but there was something that just was not working out, so they decided to sell that site.
“It was great, it was making money, it was fine. We just actually didn't like it,” says Stu.
And the reasoning behind the closure?
“The customers we've got in Annandale are amazing,” Stu explains.
With the boutique community focus, Jodie McGregor Flowers’ success ties strongly in with the experience of the business that appeals to the local community.
“If I'm making a bouquet from you, I'm probably only about a metre away from you. There's no disconnect,” says Jodie.
Jodie McGregor Flowers is not the only business to have found that bigger isn't always better. John Sammut, CEO of garden centre chain Flower Power, found that smaller stores were actually cannibalising larger ones, and reducing the number of smaller stores has actually increased sales as well as profitability.