People who ordered a Valentine’s Day bouquet this year may have noticed it came with a heftier price tag — and those who decide to shop last minute in a store for today’s holiday may not find exactly what they’re looking for.
That’s because florists, like a lot of other retailers, are seeing supply chain issues.
Abigail McNamara, owner of Bagel’s Florals in Albuquerque, snips the ends off of some pink and white blooms ahead of Valentine’s Day. “So, these will go in a lot of our bouquets.”
And those bouquets will cost a bit more this year. “For example, my $30 offering went up to $40. My $100 offering is closer to $120,” she said.
But she said the price of wholesale flowers has gone up even more. For some of her staples, McNamara said she’s paying double the pre-pandemic price.
“My profit margin is a little lower than I like for Valentine’s,” she said. “But I just raised my prices and I don’t want to raise them again just for the holiday.”
Broadly speaking, the pandemic has been good for the floral industry.
“People seem very motivated to have fresh flowers in their lives,” said Steve Dionne with the trade organization CalFlowers.
He said wedding cancellations were offset by people sending flowers to loved ones they couldn’t see in person and buying flowers for themselves.
“Whether that’s just to beautify their home, they’re spending so much time in or they want them on their Zoom screens.”
Dionne said costs are also rising for things like fertilizer to grow the flowers, labor to harvest them and fuel to get them across the country or the world.
“So the gross profit margin at farm-level is not changing, but the prices have to be higher.”
And other floral supplies, like foam and glassware, are also in short supply, said Krystal Vincent, owner of Dandelions Flowers in Eugene, Oregon.
“We have a certain container that isn’t even going to show up in time for Valentine’s Day,” she said. “So we just have to kind of scrap that design that we were going to make because we won’t have the container.”
Vincent has enough flowers to serve last-minute customers, but popular offerings like red roses are likely to sell out.
“It’s hard to guarantee what will be kind of left when the dust settles,” she said.
This year, Vincent said stragglers can’t afford to be picky.