It's Valentine's Day today, and this means busy times for florists. It is a holiday that is celebrated in many parts of the world and the fact that it falls on a Thursday is, historically speaking, beneficial.
"Friday and Saturday are the best days for me, but Valentine's Day on a Thursday is the third best day", says Dutch florist Kristel of V&V Bloemen en Wonen. It is a very important day for this florist. "We're expecting a lot of men, and they often choose for the traditional bunch of roses."
Also the traders at one of the largest flower markets in the UK, London's New Covent Garden Flower Market, are pleased with Valentine's Day falling on Thursday. "A weekday is always better than a weekend", they told us. At the market, it has been busy all week and even till this morning florists were at the market to pick up the last flowers. "The traditional rose in the traditional red color is the most demanded. Most originate from the Netherlands and South America."
Not always red
However, it does not always have to be the traditional color red", says another Dutch florist; Elske of 4 Suze. "Pink and peach are also good options. We expect the rush at around 3pm today when the men start picking up a bunch after their workday. Many call in advance to reserve a bunch of flowers."
In the US - a push to buy flowers
In the US it is still early in the morning and Valentine's Day is yet to take off. Three days in advance, there came a not-so-subtle reminder that flowers are a popular gift. "41 percent of the American men and 15 percent of the American women gave Valentine’s Day flowers in 2018." These percentages were published on the front page of USA Today on Feb. 11, “Snapshot”, based on info provided by the Society of American Florists.
Expectations: 3.5 billion dollar U.S. consumer floral market
Prince & Prince, Inc. (P&P), one of the leaders in market research focused on the floral and green plant industries, has released a projection for the retail value of U.S. consumer floral purchasing for Valentine’s Day 2019. The P&P floral aggregate spending projection for Valentine’s Day 2019 is over $3.5 billion dollars at retail ($3.55 billion), including all fresh floral products (fresh cut flowers, including arrangements, bouquets, bunches, single stems, and corsages, and indoor potted flowering and foliage plants & planters) and any associated delivery/handling service fees. However, as has been tradition, the majority of this retail floral value for Valentine’s Day is roses. This projected U.S. market value for Valentine’s Day 2019 is about $169 million dollars greater than P&P’s 2018 market value projection.
Self-serve flower bouquet bar in California
And what about the end consumer making their own flower bouquet? In Carpinteria (CA), USA, a flower bar has been set up where one can make their own bouquet, reports Keyt.com. Florabundance and FabulousFlorals.com are opening their warehouse for customers to come in. It is just in time for Valentine's Day, but the owner, Joost Bongaerts, is planning to continue it for two days a week. "On a typical day we have 800 varieties and many are California grown, but also flowers the Netherlands, South America, the Middle East and Japan are available. Curious? See the video on Keyt.com.
Australia: Fewer young people, more weird bouquets, more online sales
In Australia, Valentine's Day is already almost over, and ABC News reported, after asking several florists across the country, that fewer young people are buying Valentine's Day flowers. Some say that this group more often seems to go for the 'weird' alternative bouquets. But rather than a lack of young customers, Flowers Australia President Jason Nealon told ABC News that "online order gatherers" is one of the biggest challenges facing the industry. Then, third-party retailers who take orders online and relay them to florists after taking a commission.
The Valentine's rush at a florist
Eager to see how it is a day before Valentine's Day at a florist? ABC12 visited a local florist in Owosso, Australia, and saw how it's all hands on deck the day before Valentine's Day, with hundreds of deliveries to make and flowers to arrange, and it does not even include people who may come in today, on Valentine's Day itself. Patty Win, Sunnyside Florists owner, tells ABC12 that they do not go home till all orders are fulfilled. Weather can be a big challenge - "the storm and snow has really concerned us". As well as the prices. For florists, the prices are higher, but she tries to limit the price increase to her customers - only 10 dollars more than on a daily basis and I could raise it more". In terms of business, Valentine's Day is second to Mother's Day.
Tesco to donate unsold Valentine's Day flowers
At the end of the day, British retailer Tesco will not throw the unsold flowers and bouquets away. Instead, they will give it away to good causes this year, reported the retailer on February 12. This year though, the supermarket will work with food redistribution charity, FareShare, to make sure any unsold blooms get to people and groups who will enjoy them. Tesco Head Florist, Michelle Buck, said: “No-one wants to see these beautiful flowers go to waste so we’re delighted that this year we’re going to find them deserving homes. We already work with FareShare to redistribute surplus food, so it was the natural thing to do to work with them to give some Valentine’s joy to those who deserve it most.” Click here to read the complete press release.
Thailand - Fewer bouquets due to jump in prices
In Thailand, the rose prices doubled from that of the past years ahead of Valentine's Day, vendors in Phayao told Eleven Media Group. As a result, they received less orders for rose bouquets compared with previous years. They told the newspaper that they have seen the rose bouquet orders drop by 50 percent. The high prices are a result of the high demand and the hot, cold and rainy weather in February that caused roses to grow slowly and be less beautiful.