Williee Armellini of Flowers and Cents reached out to a number of Importers to get a feel for how Valentine's Day is taking shape. Here's what some of them had to say.
"We got off to a slow start but pre-books are coming in strong now. Everyone thought it would be softer than last year because VD is on a Friday followed by a Monday holiday but I believe we are starting to match last year’s numbers. If it keeps up there might not be a lot available on the open market", one importer said. "We heard Ecuador was in early on roses so there might not be much around later. It seems as if bookings for Valentines get later and later. What I’ve been hearing is that retailers have been dragging their feet some therefore the wholesalers have been a little slow in placing orders. Production seems to be coming in on time from both countries. That being said, this week has gotten off to an active start for the holiday and pre-booking flowers."
Another importer commented, "So far it looks like we will have enough red and white roses from Ecuador. However, rose crops in certain parts of Africa seem to be rained out, so I suspect some last minute pressure on the South American rose market. Our sales seem a little lighter than last two years, we are still taking pre-orders, but seem to be a little lighter. Perhaps because the holiday is on a Friday this year. Lots of other options for couples to give each other, a night out for example. Also we have seen in the last few years an increase in non rose orders, items such as ranunculus, anemones, hyacinths, tulips. Cheaper, more stems for the same amount of money and more importantly from the perspective of the store owners, if they have some left after vday, they can still use these flowers. I hope everyone in the industry will have a great valentine, with beautiful quality flowers".