Higher gas prices forcing Detroit business to adapt

Thrifty Florist depends on deliveries

Sandra Ali shows you how some Metro Detroit businesses are making adjustments to offset the cost of higher gas prices.

DETROIT – Cutting miles because of higher gas prices isn’t always easy for Metro Detroit businesses that depend on deliveries.

At the Thrifty Florist warehouse distribution center, they’re loading up trucks and combining as many deliveries together as possible to try to save money on gas.

“We’ve been pooling orders together,” Chris Rea said. “We’re limiting the number of delivers that we are doing out to our stores. Typically, we would have gone out five times. Now, we try to go three times.

Rea has been in the flower business for more than three decades. With at least nine delivery trucks on the road at a time and nearly 30 drivers working seven days a week, filing up on gas gets expensive.

“We’ve been limiting the number of shipments we’ve been getting,” Rea said. “We’ve been getting larger shipments, and we’ve renegotiated and worked with some other vendors that have been more aggressive with their pricing.”

He’s seen his share of ups and downs, but like so many others who rely on frequent deliveries, the spike in gas prices is forcing them to change the way they do business. He started making adjustments to offset costs when prices at the pump began inching up in early 2021.

“I always like to look at these crises as opportunities to be more creative -- look at our business and how can we do things better,” Rea said.

He said the business is hoping to continue using some of the new cost-cutting solutions even after gas prices start to come back down.

About the Authors:

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.