NetFlorist dodges truckers' strike

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Online gifting and flower service NetFlorist notched up a “whopping” 60% increase in orders this Valentine's Day, compared to last year.

However, the ongoing truck drivers' strike over wage negotiations derailed deliveries and the online company had to get friends and families to make deliveries.

“Thousands of men went all out to woo their significant other or secret crush, spending an average of R423 on the NetFlorist and NetGifts sites, while women were almost as enthusiastic in their spending, with an average spend of R387 each,” says NetFlorist.

The company prepared the orders, but at the last moment the strike by truck drivers “threw a spanner in the works”.

“Gifts and flowers were left crammed into the company's warehouses, all wrapped up and with nowhere to go.”

However, NetFlorist MD Ryan Bacher decided that staff should call on “friends and family to fill the drivers' seats of the NetFlorist delivery vans”. By the end of Monday, 97% of its 7 800 deliveries were successfully completed.

“Their willingness to drop what they were doing and assist at such short notice was extremely heartening and greatly appreciated,” says marketing executive Sue Morris.

The outstanding 3% of orders that did not go out were given top priority for delivery yesterday, and clients' complaints on social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook were closely monitored, the company says.

NetFlorist's volunteer drivers were dispatched in unmarked vehicles to avoid intimidation.

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