By COLLEEN MCCARTHY
While many people have mixed feelings on the holiday, Valentine’s Day means big business for local floral shops.
“Valentine’s Day is a blessing for small flower shops,” Monti King, owner of Flowers by the Bunch, said.
This one day can mean be the difference between success and struggle for small floral shops. Americans are expected to shell out approximately $17 billion this Valentine’s Day, much of it on flowers for their sweetheart.
“It’s definitely our best time of the year,” Melanie King, owner of Stewart’s Town and Campus Florist, said. “But it means a lot of work and a lot of long hours.”
Monti King said that flower sales often depend on what day of the week the holiday falls on.
“This year, since it falls on a Tuesday, it’s going to be a very good Valentine’s Day. They’re going to come in and call in and have the flowers sent to their girlfriends or wives at work to show off a little bit and put on a show,” she said. ‘When it falls on a weekend, they usually go out to dinner or go out of town, so it’s less about the flowers. But this year is a blessing for us because we like a show.”
Although many florists saw a decrease in sales over the last few years due to the recession, sales are already looking up this year.
“We already have about 200 deliveries scheduled. We ordered over 2,000 roses,” Melanie King said. “This year has already exceeded expectations. We’re doing better than last year, and we haven’t even made it through Valentine’s Day yet.”
With all those orders comes a lot of extra time, work and money, but the florists are hoping it will be worth it. Shop owners won’t know for sure how sweet their Valentine’s Day was until the last bouquet is delivered.
“Our pre-orders have been a little bit slimmer than last year, but people are coming in last minute,” Eva Hamilton, Kroger floral manager, said.
The shop owners said they’ve been receiving orders for weeks and expect them to keep coming until the last minute. While roses remain the favorite for Valentine’s Day, tulips and gerbera daisies are also popular picks in Starkville.