US: Valentine's Day 2023, what to expect?

People are estimated to have spent $23.9 billion on Valentine’s Day in 2022—up from $21.8 billion in 2021 and the second-highest year on record. (source: National Retail Federation) Now, what will 2023 bring? The Flower Wizard David Kaplan shares his info in a blog

After mentioning some fun facts about Valentine's Day, he focuses on the expectations for 2023 and sums up his findings below.

  • Colombia has had 20% more rain than normal in the last 12 months
  • Lots of blind shoots on roses resulted (much more than normal) because of weather decreasing peak production resulting in spreading out production more than usual
  • Weather has delayed crops which in turn has delayed shipping
    Shipping window is narrowing as prime time is approaching rapidly
    more of a presence of 40’s and 50’s in colored roses (this should save retailers money)
  • Quality should be excellent, and logistics stays good
    California products like wax flower and Larkspur are late because of the weather
  • The missing hard goods of last year are now plentiful
    8 flights cancelled last week and at least 5 this week
  • Tempered optimism seems to be the feeling in the market
    Some large retailers are projecting a larger dollar volume holiday, but flat in units mostly because of inflation and labor availability
  • Pre Book slightly less this year but catching up quickly
  • Super Bowl should not hurt Valentine’s day sales
  • Retail survey from SAF taken Mid-January (source: SAF)

And he shares some comments based on the SAF Pre-Valentines round table from Charlie Hall Professor and Ellison Chair in International Floriculture:

  • Inflation rate dropping
  • Hoping to see 3-4% by the end of 2024
  • Takes at least 6 months for monetary and fiscal policy to work (known as the Lag effect)
  • Supply chain improving greatly Except eggs, electronic products and appliances and chips
  • Auto prices coming down
  • Retail sales falling slightly
  • Labor market strong important to retain quality staff
  • Still a challenge finding good people
  • Temp labor harder to get
  • Wage growth slowing down but not decreased
  • The increase in flower consumption from the pandemic has
  • leveled off and plateaued
  • Debt ceiling debate (who knows on this one)
  • End consumer can afford flowers
  • Demand is there hopefully no weather issues
  • Day to day business is off for many reasons

"We all need a win-win-win. as always! That’s different this year is that the Rose pinch was a two-prong attack. Phase one was for Ocean Containers and Phase two was for traditional air shipping. It seems that farms were early for the Ocean shipping and late for the air shipping. Which in the end should result in a very strong market.

“The anticipated slowdown in economic growth is more about supply scarcity, inflation, and Fed policy, rather than a lack of demand.” Hopefully this translates into flower demand. Also, we wish we could control the weather, so we are doing our anti-storm dances and hoping we avoid any weather issues for the Valentine season.

Moreover, parts of Asia and especially Europe are currently going through tough times. As much as we wish well-being on the entire world it currently looks like, the States and Canada are the lucky ones."

Click here to read the entire article of the Flower Wizard.

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