Celebrating 40th anniversary

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A WELL-KNOWN Arbroath business is this week celebrating the 40th anniversary of moving into its current premises.

Ferrier’s Florist, 25 Market Place, was set up about 50 years ago in High Street, where the Max Spielman shop is now, by George Ferrier.

It moved in April, 1973, into the central location in Market Place.

The owner, Irene Mitchell, revealed that there had been five florists at the helm over the half century. She has owned the business for 18 years, but worked for the previous owner for three years prior to that, so has been associated with Ferrier’s for a total of 21 years.

She said: “We are in a perfect location and get quite a bit of passing trade.

“I noticed a dip in business when supermarkets opened in the town and started to sell flowers. Many of the regular customers, little old ladies who would come in on a Saturday and buy a bunch of flowers to brighten up their homes, moved to the big stores.

“But we have managed to hold our own and have a good trade providing flowers for funerals and weddings. There is always an occasion which requires flowers.

“I am lucky that Ferrier’s has always had a good reputation and that still counts. I could have changed the name when I took over, but it was established and recognised so there was no reason to change it.”

She conceded that there had been major changes in the business during her tenure.

“We do a lot of business on the Internet nowadays,” she explained. “We have our own website and that generates a lot of interest. Telephone sales have also increased over the years. I am also an Interflora member and we provide a delivery service to about a 12-mile radius.”

Irene reckons that one of the main advantages she has is the central location of the shop. She said: “We get a fair bit of passing trade thanks to our good reputation and because we are well situated.”

She made a major investment two years ago when she bought the property and then spent about £10,000 in a total rewire and refurbishment which included knocking down a couple of walls.

“The place is so much brighter now,“ she said. “And the customers often remark on that. Another thing they like is the big display window. I make a point of changing the display at least once every fortnight, and it does draw customers in to the shop.”

More recently Irene has diversified into the supply of fascinators, the colourful, sometimes even gaudy headgear which is worn at weddings and special occasions. “That has bought about a boost to business, as fascinators are very popular nowadays. We stock a wide range with something to suit every taste.

She is looking forward to any challenges that the future might bring.