Snowstorm or not, there will be plenty of Valentine’s Day roses
FORTUNE — A massive winter storm is snarling traffic and grounding flights from Atlanta to Boston. But, in most cases, it shouldn’t impact those roses you ordered for Valentine’s Day.
The vast majority of roses imported to the East Coast for Valentine’s Day come from Ecuador and Colombia, and are scheduled to be cut between January 28 and February 5. That means they arrived in U.S. ports like Miami last week or early this week, and were safely in wholesale distribution centers well before the storm hit.
Equally important, this storm was not a surprise. So in many cases the supply chain got accelerated a bit, both on the wholesale and retail side.
“We’ve had many challenges, but had 100 trucks out there today and expect to make around 98% of our deliveries,” says Tim Dewey of Delaware Valley Floral Group, a wholesale distributor for around 1,200 retail florists in the corridor between Northern Virginia and Boston. “Some of our customers requested delivery a day early, and that helped.”
Rene Strong, owner of Cut Flower Wholesale in Atlanta, adds that he’s had some troubles trying to deliver to shuttered customers, but remains optimistic that he won’t end up with too much excess inventory. “We hope to sell them to the ones that are open, and who maybe expect extra business because of all the closed stores,” he explains.
The real key in all this is local retailers, for whom Valentine’s Day runs neck-and-neck with Christmas for most important holiday. No snowstorm, even a large East Coast blizzard like we experienced just before Valentine’s Day in 2010, is going to stop them from doing everything possible to fulfill their orders.
“So far we’re fine, no disruptions on flowers coming in or going out,” says David Levine, proprietor of Central Square Florist in Cambridge, Massachusetts. “We’ve been preparing for this.”
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