Valentine’s Day—the holiday florists count on millions of Americans buying their sweethearts roses and chocolate—has arrived. But many florists are scrambling to get orders to their customers today despite the historic snowstorm ("Winter Storm Pax") that swept across much of the U.S. northeast and south.
In New York City, many florists planned to make deliveries by foot and mass transit today because of poor road conditions, according to ABCNews.com. Some florists even hired temporary help due to slower delivery times. “We have very limited use of vehicles because of the weather,” said Nic Faitos, senior partner at Starbright Floral Design. “We hired extra people because of that.”
In Lynchburg, Virginia, local florists reported that sales were dismal in the days leading up to Valentine’s Day, which are often among their busiest, best sales days of the year. Sales at Kathryn’s Flower & Gift Shop were down sharply yesterday due to the storm, office manager Carolyn Johns told The News & Advance. The shop tried to beat the storm by making deliveries before the storm arrived. But realistically, the bulk of Valentine’s Day flower sales happen a day or two before Valentine’s Day or on the day itself.
“Every year we strive to beat what we did the year before,” Johns said. “This year, we’re just content for things to get out safely.”
The Oconee County Sheriff’s Department in Georgia put a message on its Facebook page declaring that Valentine’s Day was cancelled this year and created a “No Valentine’s Day Zone”. It was a joke—but one that probably got the point across: It was too dangerous for people to be out on the roads.
One Atlanta florist, Danny Wilson, owner of The Savage Garden, set up a Facebook page called Valentine’s Day Delay that encourages locals to extend their floral purchases into next week to support local flower shops hurt by the snow. “Support Atlanta area florists iced out by the winter storm,” is the page’s call to action. “Help make up for lost business by ordering the week of February 17.”
Despite the weather, some small local florists hope to see increased sales this Valentine’s Day because more people delayed their flower orders due to the storm. Moreover a local flower shop has far less distance to travel to deliver flowers than a big national florist that ships its orders across the country.
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