Flower sales boom ahead of Mother's Day

Published: May. 8, 2020 at 7:37 PM EDT
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Sunday is Mother's Day, one of the biggest days of the year for flower shops. Despite recent store closures and supplier issues related to the coronavirus pandemic, area florists think this may be one of their biggest years ever.

Just a week ago, one area florist thought his business would be down.

“Obviously we’re going to be busy, but I don’t think we’re going to see as much as years passed,” florist Brian Rader said nine days before Mother’s Day 2020.

After his flower shop was closed during West Virginia Governor Jim Justice’s stay-at-home order, Rader said he lost a lot of his usual business, and when Rader last spoke with WTAP, orders for flowers had just started coming in online. One week later and his flowers are flying out the door, just in time for Mother’s Day.

“I’d say it’s going to be the best one we’ve had in years,” said Rader. “Just today alone, we’ve had one hundred-some deliveries.”

What was predicted to be a below average year is turning out to be a record high year on both sides of the Ohio River. Over in Belpre, Sandy’s Florist owner Joe Flaherty is starting to run out of fresh-cut flowers.

“We’re having a record year, as of right now,” said Flaherty. “We’re recommending that they do like hanging baskets, porch baskets and the live-type flowers because as far as the fresh-cuts are concerned, we’re just about sold out.”

The virus is still slowing foot traffic significantly; Flaherty’s store is actually still closed. But online orders have exploded for both businesses.

“I believe that it’s because people can’t go visit other people that they are sending the flowers now, in place of being able to go visit. Just to let their mothers and their loved ones know that they are thinking about them and they do still care about them,” said Flaherty.

“You know, the COVID-19 thing, people not being able to see one another, not being able to get out and about, so they’re just really going crazy and sending the orders, which is a good thing. I would say this is going to be the best one we’ve had in several years,” said Rader.

Both businesses offer contactless delivery, to keep everyone safe.

The boom in business has started to impact suppliers as well. On May 1, a lot of the nearby suppliers were closed, but now that they're open, they're quickly running out of supplies.

“The wholesalers are up and running, but they’re running out of merchandise themselves. So, of course that passes on to us, that we’re running out. We’re trying to order flowers. We’ve ordered flowers every day this week. We still have stuff coming tomorrow, what we could get our hands on,” said Rader.

Rader said he is also running low on candies and other small items that often come with orders of flowers.