The floral industry is one of the hardest-hit industries in this pandemic. Without weddings, funerals, parties, corporate events, or retail foot traffic, the demand for flowers has collapsed. And it could not have happened at a worse time for this seasonal industry with Mothers Day, wedding season, conference season, and so on yet to come. Consequently (and as this recent Bloomberg article summarizes and illustrates with stunning images), large parts of the floral supply chain have been decimated.
Retail florists, event planners, distributors, wholesalers, and growers have largely been forced to shutdown under shelter-in-place orders and/or the evaporation of demand for flowers. Untold numbers of people have been furloughed or laid-off around the world. This hits close to home; my family’s flower business has been operating for over 100 years, but was recently forced to temporarily close and let go of dozens of employees. Although San Francisco recently allowed a limited re-opening of the SF Flower Mart this past week, the future remains very uncertain.
Below are some ways that we consumers can help support the floral community in this time:
- Order flowers from a local florist, by calling them directly. Order from one you know or use a service like yelp to find one.
- Don’t order from an online or “wire” services, which are essentially delivery services. Florists often make little or no money from these orders and so the quality of flowers and design is likely to be lower; many florists don’t even put their names on these arrangements.
- Pre-order flowers for Mothers Day. Flowers are perishable items and no florist will carry any inventory beyond what they know that they can sell (in this economic environment).
- Buy flowers for family and friends as gift, since you cannot see them in person.
- Buy flowers for your home. Flowers are an easy and inexpensive way to brighten a home, improve mental health, or surprise your spouse.
We’re all in this together, so spread some joy with flowers!