La Jolla florist stays ahead of the curve for over 75 years
by Ethan Orenstein
Published - 03/15/13 - 10:39 AM | 6015 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print

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Proving change is inevitable — and necessary — Adelaide’s, a La Jolla institution that has thrived for more than 75 years, is heading full force into the future with an ambitious makeover.

Adelaide’s began a major reinvention two years ago and has more in store in the future. As one of the few florists left in La Jolla, the changes are necessary, owners said, to keep Adelaide’s competitive against discount and bulk florists.

Chief operating officer and general manager Jerry Parent said Adelaide’s traditional style has always been venerated in San Diego, but a major overhaul — changing everything from the store fixtures and paint to merchandise and pricing — was necessary to keep up with current trends and appeal to a broader audience.

“We’re not trying to veer to too far away from what Adelaide’s was, but also were trying to make sure we’re encompassing the next generation,” Parent said.

The store has been redesigned with more open space and bright, colorful paint. It added a new plant and potting department, where customers can create their own fixtures and displays. Succulents, a newer trend, are available to plant with rocks, moss and vases. European giftware and accessories, that Parent said can’t be found anywhere else in the U.S., are also available to accompany floral displays.

“People are looking for things that they’re seeing in New York or Europe,” Parent said. “That’s where we keep our eyes, on those trends that are happening there, and trying to bring them here so we’re fresh, we’re new and ahead of the curve.”

Adelaide’s has also added a Friday Flower Market, where customers can purchase flowers at wholesale prices. Each Friday, designers arrange different displays to provide examples of what can be created with the available flowers.

“That’s what’s new, that’s what people are discovering with us,” Parent said. “We’re constantly evolving now. We really are offering something that’s new and fresh and different as an independent florist.”

Adelaide’s has also been experimenting with its price structure. Parent said owners have been researching the market constantly to provide customers with the lowest prices they can.

Flower shops have changed tremendously over the 76 years Adelaide’s has been in business. Traditional florists often have a hard time staying in business trying to compete with the low-prices offered by online and phone-in flower shops.

“The 800 number-type flowers are popular because it’s easy, fast and inexpensive, and I can pick up the phone and order those types of flowers,” Parent said. “The stuff that we do is unique, stylized and customized.”

The store’s website has undergone some major changes, as well. Parent said he wanted to provide customers with plenty of pictures and prices, giving them a good idea of what’s available.

“Hopefully they can get a really customized arrangement at the same price they’d get for something that’s being put together in the thousands by an 800-line number,” Parent said.

Adelaide’s is located at 7766 Girard Ave. For more information, visit
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