Roses & More Inc., of Spokane, is giving new meaning in the Inland Northwest to the phrase flower power.
Already the regions largest floral wholesaler, the company has bought the operating assets of its largest competitor, Glacier Mountain Floral Suppliers, and has folded that Spokane companys operations into its own.
Roses & More owner Bob Hamacher says the acquisition gives the company just over 60 percent of the wholesale flower market in the region and is its boldest step yet in its effort to consolidate the wholesale floral market here.
We are moving from being a large wholesaler toward dominance in this region, Hamacher says.
Roses & More, which is located at 24 W. Second, on downtown Spokanes east end, completed its purchase of Glacier Mountain last month. Hamacher declines to disclose the terms of the transaction, but says the purchase price was less than $1 million.
The transaction didnt include Glacier Mountains building, which is at 115 E. Pacific, about three blocks northeast of Roses & More. Glacier Mountain general manager Alan Lesher, who is overseeing that companys operations as they wind down, says Glacier Mountain plans to sell its 27,000-square-foot building.
Darrell Weiland, owner of what now is the second largest regional floral wholesaler here, Pacific Wholesale Florist Inc., says Roses & Mores acquisition reduces the number of regional wholesalers in the market to two. He says that to compete with its substantially larger competition, Pacific will need to carry a thorough inventory of flowers and related goods and to step up its customer-service efforts.
Competition is going to be keen, Weiland says. It puts pressure on us to do a better job, and well do it.
Product prices also likely will decrease in the competitive environment, he says.
Hamacher says the Glacier Mountain acquisition was an ideal way for Roses & More to grow, because it gave the company 300 additional customers in the territory that it already serves. The company distributes to flower shops and supermarkets in a region that extends to the Canadian border to the north, the Cascade Mountains to the west, Boise to the south, and Billings, Mont., to the east.
Hamacher expects to be able to get more sales from those customers than Glacier Mountain had, because in addition to the flowers, plants, and supplies that Glacier had offered, Roses & More also offers floral design arrangements and bouquets.
Roses & More has hired five of Glacier Mountains 17 former employees here. Also, Roses & More closed Glaciers distribution center in Helena, Mont., and moved those operations to a Missoula, Mont., distribution center that Roses & More opened last spring. The five workers in the Helena center were offered jobs in Missoula, but none of them chose to relocate, Hamacher says.
Currently, Roses & More has a total of 43 employees, he says. He expects sales to exceed $7.5 million this year.
Hamacher says he doesnt anticipate acquiring additional wholesale operations. He had looked into buying Pacific and a wholesaler in Montana in the past, but such acquisitions didnt come to fruition. He says that in the future, Roses & More intends to grow by increasing its market share in the region it currently serves.
The company might open a distribution center in Boise in the future, but doesnt currently have plans to do so, Hamacher says.
Glacier Mountain, incorporated as Spokane Flower Growers Inc., started in 1925 as a cooperative of local growers who wanted to distribute flowers and plants grown at their greenhouses. By the 1970s, the concern was importing more flowers to sell than were being provided by the local growers, so it incorporated to become a conventional floral distributor.
The company decided to sell its assets, because many of its owners arent growers any longer or want to concentrate on their greenhouse operations.
Roses & More is the former Jones Wholesale Florist operation, which Hamacher bought in October 2003 from Rosedale Greenhouse Inc., of Spokane. The wholesale-floral operation started 66 years ago.
In addition to owning Roses & More, Hamacher is managing partner of BHW1 LLC, an advertising agency here.
A longtime Spokane businessman, Hamacher co-founded KAYU-TV, a Fox affiliate here, and other Fox stations in the Tri-Cities and Yakima, Wash. He sold those stations in 1995.
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