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Charles City florists ready for Valentine’s Day rush

Charles City florists ready for Valentine’s Day rush
Andrea Smith, service manager at Hy-Vee Floral, is ready for a busy few days of Valentine’s shoppers. Press photos by Travis Fischer
By Travis Fischer,

It’s the biggest week of the year for area florists as romantics pick out bouquets for their Valentine’s Day sweethearts.

Charles City florists ready for Valentine’s Day rush
Christopher Anthony at Otto’s Oasis is ready for a rush of customers looking for the right Valentine’s Day bouquet.

At Otto’s Oasis and Hy-Vee Floral, the shelves are covered in red arrangements as the shops stock up for the holiday.

“I started ordering flowers back in December,” said Christopher Anthony, manager of Otto’s Oasis.

The uptick in sales has already begun as early-bird shoppers on Monday started to put in their bouquet orders. Anthony says that every year is different when it comes to how early people get their flowers.

“You just never know,” said Anthony. “We had a lot of walk-in traffic starting today.”

While a wide variety of flower arrangements are available, the traditional red rose remains the top Valentine’s Day seller.

“By far, a dozen roses are our big hitter,” said Hy-Vee Store Manager Stacy Hoard.

Hy-Vee Floral also began its Valentine’s Day preparations months ago to get ready for the holiday, placing orders all the way back in June of last year.

“We have 99% more flowers than usual,” said flower arranger June Cleveland-Newcomb.

While plenty of customers get their flowers ahead of time, both locations are bracing for a busy Wednesday as last-minute shoppers flow in to pick up flowers for their special someone. The number of Valentine’s procrastinators varies from year to year, but it’s always a busy day in the flower business.

“There is a lot of extra excitement in the store,” said Hoard. “The day of, it’s off the charts.”

Even McDonalds is getting in on the holiday rush, offering the first 50 drive-through customers a free rose with their breakfast order on Wednesday morning.

One advantage that Valentine’s Day shoppers have this year is the holiday’s placement on the calendar. Anthony says that mid-week is the best time for Valentine’s Day to fall on for both the florists and the customer.

On the consumer side, it’s common to have bouquets delivered to the recipients workplace during the week, giving them a chance to show off the romantic gesture to their co-workers. Meanwhile, for florists, the mid-week placement of the holiday gives them more opportunities to restock their flowers day-to-day, making it easier for late shoppers to still get a Valentine’s bouquet.

“We’re glad to take care of anybody’s order, even last minute,” Anthony said Monday. “I can be restocked tomorrow and Wednesday.”

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