A new florist has found a home at Clapham Junction – but it’s not your conventional shop. British company, Rockflower, has invigorated flower retailing with its new auto retail unit where the fresh hand-tied bouquets are available to customers 24/7.
The business was founded by designer Andrew McAlpine who was driven by his vision to create a high-end automated kiosk that makes products available to customer at all hours.
Currently it sells flower bouquets but Rockflower units are designed to sell a great number of other “must have” on-the-go products.
The machines are installed with a dry-cooling system that is designed to provide the specific climate the flowers needs while each unit is installed with an intuitive touchscreen and a software system that allows the kiosk owner to track sales live and restock according to demand.
With a low maintenance cost to the owner, and its 24/7 availability of product, it is seen as a savvy solution to the demise of the high street – a win-win for the owner and the buyer.
The kiosk operates when the costumer picks out a locker holding their chosen bouquet on the touchscreen. Using a card or phone, customers are able to pay for the item and the glass door swings open and allows them to collect their romantic gift.
Rockflower finance director Karen Berger says the software, written by Rockflower, is key to the successful operation of the air-cooled units and currently there are four in operation in the greater London area.
First tested in Blackfriars where it was a “roaring success”, the Rockflower units can be branded by florists who want to open a satellite kiosk, while there is also capacity to run corporate videos to the public when the machine is between sales.
It requires no employees, yet affords customers access to fresh flower bouquets at all hours. The bouquets come in biodegradable holders that double as vases while the flowers themselves are imported from the Netherlands.
Andrew says: “Rockflower (the name signalling a delicate flower in a hard to imagine place) has huge energy. Its low-cost maintenance combined with 24/7 availability of product, makes our units ideal for so many retail spaces, shopping centres, airports and hospitals to name a few. It’s invigorating, and it is catching on.”