Valentine’s Day flowers meet thorny supply chain issues

Valentine's Day flower delivery meets pandemic-era economic challenges. (Source: CNN)
Published: Feb. 7, 2022 at 3:46 PM EST
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(CNN) - Most Americans have encountered some pandemic-related supply chain issues, whether at the grocery store or waiting longer for a package.

For products where timing is everything, the crunch feels especially intense.

Mark Chatoff, owner of the California Flower Mall, said his 35 vendors face the same economic issues as other retailers, as growers and suppliers count down to a second pandemic-era Valentine’s Day.

“We are facing rising costs, logistics, transportation – which is part of logistics – shortages,” Chatoff explained.

Gersain Bustos brings flowers to the Los Angeles market from local growers but also items like roses from South America.

He says disruptions to those air shipments are unlike anything he’s seen in his 30 years in the flower industry.

With Valentine’s Day falling on a Monday, florists are feeling the pressure over delivering on time.

Ken Denaburg, however, says his flower shop will have what it needs this Valentine’s Day, thanks to lessons learned throughout the pandemic.

“We’ve had to change design styles, where we can’t get certain flowers and certain supplies,” Denaburg explained. “We’ve been practical and made changes so that we wouldn’t try to force something that didn’t work out.”

While florists like Denaburg believe supply will meet demand, Society of American Florists CEO Kate Penn says flexibility and creativity may enter the mix.

“It’s just that sometimes if you’re looking for something super specific, you might not be able to get it,” she said, adding the earlier you can order, the better.

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