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Florists bemoan storm’s timing
Valentine's Day deliveries get complicated

Friday, February 14, 2014

By BEN R. WILLIAMS - Bulletin Staff Writer

A white Christmas is the stuff dreams are made of, but a white Valentine’s Day is closer to a nightmare for area florists.

Before the first flakes fell on Wednesday, many local florists said the storm already was complicating business for today’s Valentine’s Day holiday.

“The storm couldn’t come at a worse time,” said Sharon Martin, owner of Bryant-Everett Florist in Collinsville. “It’s hitting at our busiest time of year.”

Martin said the shop was keeping busy, but the snow added complexity to pickups and deliveries.

People began calling on Monday to request early deliveries of Valentine’s Day flowers, she said, and the shop also called customers to ask if they would be willing to receive an early delivery.

“They’re very accommodating, very understanding,” Martin said. “They don’t want to disappoint their sweethearts.”

In addition to making deliveries difficult, Martin said, the snowfall “is going to affect our walk-ins a lot. ... This hasn’t happened in a long time.”

Other local florists shared Martin’s concerns.

Buck Davis, co-owner of Simply the Best Flowers & Gifts in Martinsville, said it has been many years since a snowfall affected Valentine’s Day sales.

“Some people are just canceling because of the weather,” he said, “and a lot of people have been calling to have (their flowers) delivered early.”

“We’re going to try to deliver what we can (today) if the roads are passable at all,” Davis said. But he added that some deliveries might have to be pushed to Saturday if road conditions remain dangerous today.

Debbie Schelling, co-owner of Pam’s Floral Designs in Martinsville, said Wednesday that the shop was trying to take care of deliveries early to avoid getting out on the roads today.

“Since we found out schools were closing early,” Schelling said, she had been calling customers who asked to have flowers delivered to area schools and getting home addresses instead.

However, she said, as of Wednesday, she had not received any order cancellations.

Brad Draper, manager at Draper Flowers, echoed Schelling on Wednesday, saying that “people are piling in asking for their orders,” especially if those orders were going to schools.

“I’m assuming people think there won’t be any more school this week,” Draper said on Wednesday. “People are hesitant right now to order. ... I think people are waiting it out.”

Mary Barbour, manager of Gabriel’s Flowers and Gifts doing business as Shirley’s Floral Design, said people still were calling Wednesday to place orders, and “as long as it isn’t endangering anybody, we’ll be delivering” today.


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