By Carol A. Clark
The Flower Shop at 1743 Central Ave., in downtown Los Alamos is closing its doors for good July 31.
A primary factor is the stiff competition from national online flower vendors.
“That is a major reason for our declining profits,” owner Jessica Hofer said. “The online vendors ship flowers in boxes to customers, severely undercutting our prices, yet we have to belong to at least one national florist chain for which membership is extremely expensive.”
Hofer said that she hopes someone will open another flower shop in town.
“I will feel really sad if Los Alamos is left without a flower shop for proms, weddings, funerals and special events,” she said. “I hope this serves as a wakeup call to our community that we have to shop locally … everyone talks about it but we’ve really got do start doing it.”
Acting Manager Robyn Desjardins said she has heard rumors that there is interest in purchasing the shop.
“It’s available if someone wants to make an offer,” she said, adding that the store has plenty of inventory, which is being discounted between 25 and 50 percent.
Desjardins has worked at The Flower Shop since October 2010.
“I haven’t had time to think about what I’m going to do when it closes,” Desjardins said. “There are a couple of new restaurants opening in town so I might find a job there. I’m also an aspiring potter so I might do something with that.”
Bella Cosa Florist previously occupied The Flower Shop space. Famous baseball player Lou Pierotti of Pierotti Clowns and his wife Lee ran Pierotti Flowers in that space from 1959 into the 1980s.
Hofer and her staff have provided Los Alamos and White Rock with floral arrangements, plants and gifts since April 2010.
In addition to the struggle to compete with national flower vendors, Hofer said another reason she is closing The Flower Shop is the increased demands on her time from her expanding family. She has two small sons with her third son due June 30.
“It’s getting busier at home and I need to focus more of my time with my family,” she said.
Hofer has leased the 1,396.5 square foot space from CB FOX. She describes Dave Fox as “a wonderful landlord.”
Fox addressed The Flower Shop closure during an interview this afternoon.
“We have had immediate, strong interest in the space and haven’t made any decisions on the lease,” Fox said of the prime downtown property. “We want a retailing tenant who will sign a minimum five-year lease.”
For information on the space, Fox said interested parties should contact him or his son, Andy Fox at 662-2285.