Despite COVID-19, flower shops stay busy

Published 8:25 am Saturday, May 9, 2020

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VALLEY — Given the uncertainty of business traffic due to the coronavirus outbreak, florists didn’t know what to expect for the Mother’s Day season, usually a peak period for the gift of flowers.

“I keep in touch with florists all over the country, and no one knew what to expect,” said Steve Sorrells of the House of Flowers in Valley. “We knew that business would be down from previous years, but we didn’t know by how much. I was expecting it to be down 50 percent. In my case we did better than expected. It looks like it’s going to be a 25 percent decrease.”

In most years a 25 decrease in sales for a peak demand period would not be good news. In the year of COVID-19, though it’s not bad.

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“I’m having to turn away customers this year, and I really hate that,” Sorrells said. “We just didn’t think business would be as good as it’s been. I would like to thank my customers for continuing to be loyal to us through some difficult circumstances.”

Floral shops are able to open under Governor Kay Ivey’s current orders, however House of Flowers made the decision to remain closed and only offer call in orders.

“We don’t know why it worked out the way it has,” Sorrells said. “It could be that people are sending flowers to their mothers rather than paying them visits.”

Pat Shaddix of Pat’s Creations has had a busier-than-expected season as well. “It’s just a very difficult year because of this coronavirus,” she said. “We thought our Mother’s Day business would be down, but it’s been better than expected. Thank you, customers, for continue to support us. We have been wrapped up today all day long, and our cooler is just about empty. We have been ordering more flowers to try to keep up with the calls we’ve been getting. I don’t know what I’d do without my daughter Stacey and her two daughters, Andreana and Braylee, helping me.”

Luann Sims of Floral Expressions, located on Trammell Block, had some much-needed help from daughter Joy Yates and granddaughter Carly Yates in getting lots of orders filled. “We’re still closed to the public but delivering call-in and online orders,” said Sims. “We are practicing the CDC guidelines of social distancing. I hate what we have had to go through, and I hope things will be safe for everyone soon.”