Florists face inventory challenges

Published: May. 4, 2021 at 6:09 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Mothers’ Day flowers could be more expensive this year as local florists face challenges from the pandemic and mother nature.

At George’s Flowers, the week leading up to the holiday is busy with designers snipping and styling arrangements.

For the last 40 years, the Roanoke store has delivered smiles to loved ones on Mothers’ Day. This year will be no different; however, it has taken more planning and preparation to make sure the designers have what they need.

“Due to COVID, we are experiencing shortages in virtually every aspect of our industry,” owner George Clements said.

That means there are fewer flowers, fewer vases, and even fewer ways to get supplies shipped to the store.

Clements said at the beginning of the pandemic, farmers cut flower production by 50 to 60%.

There have also been difficulties finding ways to get inventory delivered with two flower plant freight companies going out of business within the last year.

“So we have been scrambling. And this isn’t something that just popped up. We were warned two months ago that shortages were going to be occurring for multi, multi reasons,” Clements said.

On top of the pandemic, there are fewer plants coming in from South America because of bad weather slowing down the blossoms.

“In South America they’ve had cool, cloudy, and rainy weather in February and March and there are just no blooms without big, bright sun,” Clements said.

Despite the challenges, George’s Flowers is still able to fill orders. However, the prices and types of arrangements might be a little different than in years past.

“We tried to modify to stay within our price points. There are some things that are slightly higher,” Clements said.

So if you plan to get a loved one a bouquet or a blossom, Clements encourages folks to keep an open mind.

“You should be flexible in your shopping because all flowers are pretty, all flowers,” he said.

George’s Flowers is still taking orders for Mothers’ Day and will be open on the holiday as well.

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