In May 2020, Scenic Floral Inc. (Scenic), a Beamsville, Ontario start-up that sourced fresh cut flowers from Colombian farms and the Niagara Peninsula, was aggressively looking to expand the business. The company’s Mother’s Day sales had started out very slowly in 2020 as the floral industry in Canada and worldwide began to recover from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. While a flurry of last-minute orders from Scenic’s two largest customers meant sales for the holiday had been strong overall, the company’s manager and partners knew they would have to strike a careful balance in growing their business-continuing to focus on their main customers while considering whether to expand the current product line, add retail customers, perform processing services, serve as a sub-supplier, export to the United States, or launch into e-commerce. Capacity constraints meant they might need to make trade-offs between growing the core business and appropriately timing new opportunities. With so many opportunities available, how could they maintain their existing customers while planting the seeds for growth when the timing was right?
This case is intended for use in an undergraduate- or graduate-level course on strategy. It offers students the opportunity to discuss strategy options for a recent start-up with aggressive growth aspirations using careful evaluation and prioritization of a wide range of growth opportunities. It also provides an opportunity to discuss a small player within a global industry that imports raw materials for further processing and resale in Canada and is now contemplating export activities. After working through the case and assignment questions, students will be able to do the following: Determine Scenic’s value proposition and core competencies. Compare and contrast the attractiveness of the cut flower industry and the potted plant industry using Porter’s Five Forces Analysis. Apply Ansoff’s Matrix to categorize and evaluate growth opportunities. Identify the priorities for growing Scenic based on an internal analysis and an assessment of the external environment. Assess the profitability of various growth options when the information available varies.