For local florists, May is typically a busy month with graduations, weddings and Mother’s Day.
But when the coronavirus pandemic forced schools to shift graduations online and engaged couples to postpone weddings, some florists anticipated a drop in business.
That hasn’t happened.
“People are are spending a lot more on their moms this year,” Terri O’Connor, owner of Rose & Blossom, said, adding the floral shop’s website has seen a 200% increase in sales compared to May 2019. “It’s crazy busy.”
O’Connor, who operates Rose & Blossom floral shops in Spokane and Spokane Valley, thinks the uptick in sales could be, in part, because customers can’t take their mothers out to brunch this year as restaurants remain closed amid the statewide stay-home order.
People also are buying local instead of through national florists, O’Connor said.
“I think this year, too, there is an extra need to be cheered up,” she said.
O’Connor said the rise in business this year is a surprise because her storefronts are temporarily closed, although she’s still able to provide curbside pickup and no-contact delivery.
Rose & Blossom has about 14 employees across its two shops and 10 seasonal delivery drivers, who will be working diligently over the weekend to deliver floral arrangements.
Mother’s Day sales also have been brisk at Peters and Sons Flowers & Gift.
“We are looking at double (the amount of sales) than last year. It’s been nicely busy,” said co-owner Susan Matteson.
Matteson, like O’Connor, believes the increase in sales this year could be because customers are sending flowers to loved ones to cheer them up.
“A fresh bouquet gives you such a lift. It makes you feel so much better,” Matteson said.
Peters and Sons made some coronavirus-related changes this year, such as setting up tables six feet apart outside of the building Friday morning for delivery drivers to pickup orders.
Delivery drivers will then place floral arrangements on customers’ front porches to maintain social distancing.
Peters and Sons even had to turn away orders this year because of staffing limitations, Matteson said.
“We are taking raw material and manufacturing a finished product. You can’t do that a month ahead,” she said.
“It’s a whole different type of industry. It’s real special. We do it because we love it.”
At Appleway Florist and Greenhouse in Spokane Valley, customers are buying “a ton of everything,” said co-owner Monty Lewis.
“We have a greenhouse as well, so we have been selling a ton of outdoor hanging baskets, deck planters for porches or decks and then just a lot of fresh flower arrangements,” Lewis said.
“Easter was significantly bigger than I expected, and I kind of thought this might be the same, so I took a gamble and ordered a bit more than I was planning to, and fortunately it was the right decision,” he added.
Appleway Florist and Greenhouse has been offering curbside pickup and no-contact delivery during the stay-home order, and customers have been receptive to it, Lewis said.
“A lot of people have been really kind about us trying to respect the social distancing portions of the order, so that’s been very nice,” he said.
Lewis said the shop is nearing capacity for the amount of orders it can fill for Mother’s Day.
“Those that ordered early are fortunate,” he said. “If you can’t visit mom, you can leave something on the porch so at least there is something to brighten her day.”
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