Local florists say they’re doing brisk business for Valentine’s Day in spite of the pandemic.
Cyndie Bozeman, owner of Frances Florist on Veterans Memorial Highway in Douglasville, said business is actually better than last year.
“I guess a lot of people aren’t seeing people like their mom or things like that, so they’re sending flowers,” she said.
Randall Jones, owner of the The Flower Cottage & Gifts in The Landings shopping center next to the mall, said business has been as good as it was in 2020.
“People have been buying stuff all week. We’re covered up today,” Jones Thursday around noon.
Just over half of adults (52%) plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year, spending a total of $21.8 billion, according to a survey from the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics.
Those planning to celebrate plan to spend an average $164.76, down $32 on average per person, from a record $193.31 in 2021 just before the pandemic hit. However, Phil Rist with Prosper Insights notes that total and average spending figures this year are the second-highest for Valentine’s Day in the survey’s history.
“Consumers still feel it’s important to spoil their loved ones in light of the pandemic,” Rist said.
Flowers are the third most popular Valentine’s Day gift behind candy and greeting cards. A total of 36% plan to give flowers this year, off a hair from the 37% who gave flowers last year.
While COVID-19 hasn’t hurt business for local florists, some say flowers have become harder to get.
Bozeman said she’s had to go to several different sources this year to get flowers when she used just a couple of suppliers in the past.
“Plants have become very scarce,” she said. “They’re kind of rationing our plants to us.”
Jones said “there is very much a scarcity” and that his flower shop is “just barely getting enough to fill our orders.”
“I’m still waiting on half my stuff that I ordered back at Thanksgiving,” he said.
Still, he said he hasn’t gone up on prices and that most customers are understanding and glad to purchase what he has in stock.
Blossoms and Bows owner Dianne Bearden said Valentine’s Day business has been about the same this year as it was in 2020.
“We’re banging them out as fast as we can,” she said.
Bearden said she hasn’t had trouble getting flowers like the other florists. But she said she only had five-dozen roses left Thursday afternoon. She said she only buys the best quality roses and that she refuses to pay what some wholesalers are asking.
“I can get all I want, but they stockpile them in dry storage so they can mark them up,” she said.
For those who haven’t ordered flowers yet, the local florists said you’ve still got time.
Frances Florist is taking orders through Saturday during business hours from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Frances will deliver on Sunday, but the shop will not be open, Bozeman said.
Jones said The Flower Cottage will take delivery orders through Saturday during business hours from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. While Jones said The Flower Cottage will not be delivering on Sunday, he said his shop will open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday for those who want to stop by and pick up flowers.
Bearden said Blossoms and Bows planned to take orders through Friday and close Saturday and Sunday so her employees can enjoy Valentine’s Day.