By Bill Murray | February 12, 2021 at 8:08 AM EST – Updated February 12 at 8:08 AM
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) -The mad Valentine’s Day rush for flowers.
For many florists, it’s good news.
After the pandemic initially halted business for so many florists around the country, UPS says flower delivery boxes are up 50% compared to last year.
“We were worried about the pandemic” says Dana Cook, the owner of Julia’s Florist, in Wilmington. “Honestly, it looks like the direct opposite is true.”
If you stop by Dana’s shop, you’ll see the rush of employees scrambling to fill orders. The designers, the clerks, the delivery staff all working to make sure someone smiles on Valentine’s Day.
“I think COVID has changed people’s lives so people are going more and more to the internet” says Cook. “I know our internet orders are up around 30 percent.”
Julia’s Florist has coolers dedicated to just roses, this time of year. The sea of red, neatly arranged on shelves, resting in 38 degrees. The dash to get them delivered has already started. “We usually have three
daily drivers” says Cook. “For Valentine’s Day orders we’ve added seven more.”
It almost seems like a cruel joke. The assembly staff working round the clock sharing a room with thousands of blooms. But with COVID, everyone is masked up. with noses covered.
“Oh, I can still smell” says one designer. “Especially when you leave the room and come back in.”
An interesting tidbit: what those workers are smelling are not what’s in high demand.
“In order to grow these perfect, red roses with the long stems everyone longs for, this time of year, the genetic engineers had to sacrifice something” says Cook. “And that something is the smell.”
Julia Cooke when all is said and done – the year, will end with sales having spiked. There’s a sales cycle in the floral industry. Every seven years, Valentine’s Day falls on a Sunday. It’s the seven year slump.
“Wednesday’s is the best day for Valentine’s Day” says Cook. “Everyone wants to make sure they’re delivered to public places like schools and offices.”
But on a Sunday, those deliveries are usually way down, because most places are closed.
“We don’t have the business trade we typically do, so Sunday’s are our slowest Valentine’s in the seven year cycle” says Cook. “That’s not proving to be the case this year, because I think everyone’s just staying home because of COVID.”
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