It's no secret that Valentine's Day is one of the most important holidays in the year for every aspect of the floral industry.
It's the truth that every person and business in the floral industry is aware of the importance of February 14th. The United States sells almost $2 billion worth of cut flowers every year on this holiday alone.
Valentine's Day in the Floral Industry
Personally speaking, Valentine's Day is my favorite holiday of the year. The spirit of the holiday refreshes me and makes me feel good. It's true that many years my livelihood depended more on this one day in February than any other single thing. There is so much that goes into this day alone. In fact, in the flower shop we started preparing in November, which is a three month timeline. There are good and bad things that come with such a big event.
The Bad: Planning and Logistics
For our flower shop the planning and logistics posed the biggest challenge each year on a small and large scale. Most of the flowers sold in the United States are grown and imported from South American countries like Ecuador and Columbia. Supply chains of all industries are complicated especially flowers because they need to be ordered early and they are perishable. Predicting sales, organizing storage and labor and studying prices is tough.
There is so many local, national and international considerations. On a large scale farms and wholesalers must be considered while on a small scale, cooler space and availability and labor to prep flowers must be considered. Some years we used our shop and an air conditioning unit while other years we used a refrigerated truck in the parking lot. Some years, we ordered flowers delivered on trucks while other years we ordered flowers delivered by plane.
The Good: Sales and Demand
The best thing about Valentine's Day for florists and for the industry is the dependability of the sales that come with it. For many flower shops, more sales are made in honor of this one day than the whole year. The demand for the classic holiday gift of flowers especially red roses is remarkable. According to Society of American Florists more than 250 million roses are grown specifically for Valentine’s Day alone (see chart below). Even though you don't know year to year the height or bottom of sales you do one thing for sure, and that is that you will have an increase in sales on this day compared to other days in the year. And, you do know that the most requested item on Valentine's Day is a red rose. Being able to rely on statistics like this is always good in my book.
This is the holiday and time of year that flower shops and the floral industry can truly maximize and diversify sales. From the classic red rose to carnations to tulips to blooming plants, balloons, chocolates, teddy bears and house plants everything is popular. At the Colonial House of Flowers, we sold lovers everything from tie-dyed roses to locally baked cake pops.
The Bad: Supply challenges
Shortages and supply issues have always proved an obstacle. Plus, this year it's true that this year the industry is still effected by the COVID-19 pandemic. There are many flowers that are simply not available right now because farms and growers shutting down, labor shortages, restricted growth, weather and shipping problems. The supply challenges affect availability, costs and quality. In many ways, we found the predicting and planning of the supply challenges overwhelming when our business depended so heavily on this one day. Getting in one load of bad blooms can affect a bottom line quickly when customers are disappointed and wholesalers don't want to issue refunds.
The Good: Valentine’s Day as a Guage
For many in the floral industry, Valentine's Day serves as a gauge to set the pace for the entire year. I do know of many flower shops and even wholesalers who scale back or don't participate in Valentine's Day at all because of the velocity and the stress of the holiday. Whether you win or lose by Cupid's Arrow, one good thing is that it can drive and outline planning for the remainder of the year. According to Thursd.com (which is the world's largest floral platform), "Growers know how much wholesalers will require, and wholesalers will get their cues from retail florists, supermarkets, and designers."
For Colonial House of Flowers the multi-month process climaxes on the one day which allows us to see and predict our future. It helps gauge and plan and organize other important holidays like Easter and Mother's Day and helps us create selling and planning strategies to maximize the strengths and minimize the weaknesses we discovered on Valentine's Day.
The worldwide floral industry is important to me as I believe it is unique and vital to international unity and success of global humanity and business. I love flowers, my flower shop, world flowers and business. I love people and how flowers bring us together. I look forward to Valentine's Day each year.
DESCRIPTION: BETTY, ASHLEY AND CHRISTY SEN AT THE COUNTER AT COLONIAL HOUSE OF FLOWERS FLORIST SHOP AT VALENTINE'S DAY, STATESBOROHERALD.COM
For more insight to how we feel about the floral industry and Valentine's Day, contact us, here. We are happy to answer your questions or just talk about it.