Despite rises in online sales, local florists are still getting swamped with phone orders for Valentine’s Day deliveries.
Florists find themselves in a favorable position this Feb. 14, as the holiday falls on a Thursday—which, along with Wednesday, has historically been one of the best days of the week for floral industry sales. It also doesn’t overlap with Mardi Gras week this year, freeing customers to call in with arrangement requests rather than planning for parades and balls.
Such is the case at Four Seasons Florist in the Drusilla Lane Shopping Center, where 30-year veteran Steve Hurley says he’s getting more phone calls than online orders, mostly from locals familiar with their service.
“People started calling Saturday and Sunday,” he says.
Robert Heroman, co-owner of Billy Heroman’s Flowers & Gifts Plantscaping, says he’s expecting a 20% increase in flower sales this Valentine’s Day compared to last year. Overall, sales have grown 25% year-over-year and he’s ready with 15 phone operators on staff to handle the “last-minute rush of orders”—mostly from male customers.
“It’s an intimate experience. People want to call and talk through the details over the phone,” Heroman says. “We think we already have twenty percent of our orders placed in advance, four days out from the big day.”
Though phone orders have just started coming in, a florist with The Flower Basket on Pecue Lane anticipates Wednesday and Thursday to be the “biggest delivery days” for the business, which sees about as many walk-ins as pre-orders.
Nationwide, floral sales are expected to account for $1.9 billion, or 35% of 2019 Valentine’s Day dollars spent, according to the National Retail Federation.