David Sierman says he's a realist. So after dealing with the decline in sales in the floral business, his included, he opted for what he felt was the best solution.
Sierman, who owned the former Westport business, Blossoms Floral Design, since 2009, and Kathy Hayes, owner of Dailey's Flower Shop, a Fairfield landmark for nearly 70 years, merged their operations last month.
The business is now called Blossoms at Dailey's Flower Shop.
"The floral business hasn't been growing since 2007," he said. "The economy stinks. If you have to decide to send flowers or pay your mortgage or phone bill, flowers become a luxury."
He said that in the past five years, the number of florists nationwide has fallen by about half.
Sierman said he doesn't think the decline in floral shops has stopped. "It's slowing down, but hasn't leveled off," he said.
Blossoms, which started in Sconset Square in Westport before moving to Norwalk and then to Fairfield a little more than a year ago, had been owned by Sierman since 2009. Hayes has owned Dailey's since 2004.
"We had been talking about merging from time to time since this past January, and felt it was a good idea, since both our businesses were similar," said Sierman. They decided to combine their two businesses and run it from Dailey's, at 2151 Black Rock Turnpike. "We used Cathy's location because it's a busy place," Sierman said.
"I think this was a great idea and I'm very excited," said Hayes. "I had a great customer base and it will only get better."
They decided to merge in August because it's a slow time in the floral business. "We've been working on putting everything together, including the inventory," he said. "We've been busy. It's taken longer than we thought it would."
They are still working on a few items, like putting up a new store sign. But, Sierman said, business has been good.
At his former shop, there weren't a lot of walk-ins, he said. That's changed with the merger, although the business still relies on call-ins and email orders.
"I got one call yesterday at 4 p.m. from a customer boarding a plane who said it was his anniversary and he forgot all about it," said Sierman. "He asked to get flowers to his wife the next day," Sierman said Tuesday. "He felt it was better late than never."
But Sireman said because of the merger, there is more staff at the shop each day and he was able to fill the order right away.
"I told him I'll run them out today and I did," he said.
Blossoms at Dailey's Flower Shop, 2151 Black Rock Turnpike, is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays. For information, call 203-336-1895 or visit www.blossomsatdaileys.com.