Jack Quann
Jack Quann

13.36 6 Apr 2021


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The owner of a flower shop in Co Mayo has praised another local business, after they offered her space to sell her bouquets.

Aisling from Bláthanna Florists in Claremorris is not able to open due to the current level five restrictions on essential retail.

But she told Lunchtime Live a lot of larger supermarkets are selling more flowers since Christmas.

"I noticed the huge amount of flowers that the supermarkets were getting in - since Christmas, or before Christmas, the amount of flowers have increased hugely.

"It's been very frustrating for me to see this when my doors were closed.

"It is just very frustrating to see them openly selling flowers and we're not able to.

"They stopped click and collect as well, and I just wonder if supermarkets had to just work on click and collect - or they had to just do delivery service - would they sell as many flowers?"

Aisling said she went on Facebook to update her customers: "That's where it started, just from a Facebook post".

She wrote: "Our doors remain closed to the public all the time, but yet larger supermarkets are still open, and freely selling floral products.

"Not only this, but they are quadrupling there orders of floral sales in the meantime.

"I fully support any business doing well and I have always believed that there is enough business for everyone to share. But only if there is an even playing field", she added in the post.

Aisling said the current restrictions are unfair to her and others in her situation.

"Some have been saying it's been alright, but not anything like [before].

"All our weddings are gone, our footfall is gone - people aren't coming in just picking up bunches, they're going to the supermarkets.

"We are getting deliveries and stuff for people who need birthday or anniversary bouquets, but it's nothing like it was".

Urgent and upsetting PLEASE SHARE FOR SMALL BUSINESS. Please let us know your thoughts on this . I’m finding it very...

Posted by Blathanna Florists Claremorris on Friday, March 26, 2021

Aisling's mother set up the shop more than two decades ago, and she took over a couple of years ago.

"I would have a lot of stuff outside my shop, my footfall is huge, I need my footfall for my shop to work.

"Click and collect wasn't too bad, but then we were reduced to just deliveries".

James Kean, who runs the local Keans garden centre, got in touch with Aisling to offer some help.

"He actually gave me a space in his shop to put up my bouquets and stuff.

"So that's given me an awful lot of publicity, a lot of people didn't realise I was even working behind the scenes since the click and collect had stopped".

"He said he saw the Facebook post, he said 'Absolutely come down here' - he cleared a space for me to put all my bouquets.

"So we sold bouquets there over the Easter weekend, it was fantastic, it was absolutely unbelievable".

James Kean said he knew how she felt, and wanted to help somehow.

"We saw her post and we were in that position this time last year where we had to close our doors, we were offering click and collect and delivery only.

"And by all accounts it was one of the most stressful times of my life, and for our staff and for my family here.

"So we can fully understand and feel for all the small businesses that are in that position at the moment.

"We actually have a fairly extensive delivery service - but the fact Aisling didn't have that - she has her car and she has a couple of things available to her.

"The kind of stuff she has is very perishable, I would feel that if we could offer help in any way at all I was more than willing to do that".

James said his shop falls into several categories including agri, pet care, electrical and farm supplies.

"So we felt that we were able to offer her a space there, seeing as supermarkets were doing it anyway.

"I didn't see there was any difference by us doing that".

Main image: The Bláthanna Florists stand at Keans in Claremorris, Co Mayo. Picture by: Facebook/Blathanna Florists Claremorris

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Aisling Bláthanna Florists Claremorris Flowers James Kean Keans Graden Centre Level Five Restrictions Lunchtime Live Mayo Selling Flowers Supermarkets

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