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Some florists seeing a COVID-related surge in sales this Valentine’s Day

Updated: Feb. 12, 2021 at 8:08 AM EST
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) -The mad Valentine’s Day rush for flowers is on and 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 percent compared with last year.

“We were worried about the pandemic,” said 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,” said 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 at 38 degrees. The dash to get them delivered has already started. “We usually have three daily drivers,” said 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,” said one designer. “Especially when you leave the room and come back in.”

An interesting tidbit: what those workers are smelling is not what’s in high demand.

“In order to grow these perfect, red roses with the long stems everyone longs for at this time of year, the genetic engineers had to sacrifice something,” said Cook. “And, that something is the smell.”

Julia Cooke said — when all is said and done — this 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 is the best day for Valentine’s Day,” said 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,” said 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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