The Impact Coronavirus has on Flower Shops
(Updated March 23, 2020)
A customer called this morning asking if we were open and delivering flowers today. We are, and we are! We intend to stay open unless/until it is no longer safe for us or for our customers. I did want to give you an update on the impact coronavirus has on flower shops, and Fantasy Floral in particular.
Did you know that 80% of the cut flowers distributed in the United States come from another country? Because of this, we might not have the exact flowers you are looking for as flights, and therefore cargo space, are starting to be restricted. Right now, the effect on supply and price is minimal, but this will change the longer the travel restrictions are in place.
We order flowers from wholesalers all over the Mid-Atlantic, but most of them are located in Maryland. Maryland Governor, Larry Hogan, has ordered all non-essential businesses to close by 5pm, Monday, March 23, 2020. This means our greatest source, but not the only source, of flowers has been curtailed.
Weddings and events are being cancelled as local governments ban large gatherings. This really affects florists, including us. While we love the everyday deliveries for birthdays, anniversaries, and just ‘cuz, large events are a huge source of income for florists. Events require specialty flowers that are ordered just for that event. Flower orders are placed long in advance, and our wholesalers usually need 7-10 days to cancel specialty orders. The immediate impact coronavirus has on flowers shops are abrupt event cancellations where flower orders can’t be cancelled. The long term impact will be the cancellation of events which affects the whole floral industry.
The floral community and our local community are coming together to try to minimize the impact of the coronavirus. Where we can use the specialty flowers we have ordered, we are trying to. Where wholesalers are able to sell the specialty flowers we have ordered to other florists, they are trying to. Our desire is that all parties–customers, florists, and wholesalers–are still financially viable when the danger of the coronavirus is over!
What We Are Doing
As a business, we are following CDC hygiene guidance including washing our hands and making sure all vases are sanitized before being delivered. In addition, we are wearing masks and nitrile powder-free gloves during our no-contact deliveries and offering curbside pick-up. As with other small businesses, we are finding the balance of meeting our customers’ needs, using wisdom to keep all safe, and financial survivability. Our shop hours are modified right now so check Facebook, Google, or Yelp for our most updated hours. We check email after hours so if you need a more immediate response, just email us!
For our family, humor is an important part of getting through tough times. In that spirit, we present a limited time arrangement* that we are calling, #LetsWipeThisOut (pictured at the top of this post). The arrangement comes in two sizes. The small has nine rolls, and the large has twelve rolls. If you know of someone who needs a laugh…or toilet paper…give us a call!
*No hoarding was done in the production of this arrangement. We are buying the toilet paper based on orders received.