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Bad weather won't stop cupid

Jerrie Whiteley
Herald Democrat
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Neither the pandemic nor Old Man Winter will stop cupid's deliveries this week as local shops prepare arrangements of flowers and treats.

Jami Blankenship of Country Florist in Sherman said the pandemic hasn't hurt her business. In fact, she said it has had the opposite affect with people bridging the gap due to social distancing with flowers. 

So when Blankenship sat down to make her orders for one of the busiest holidays of the year in her business, she ordered what she did last year and is prepared to make an additional order if needed.

"I am getting a lot of phone calls and internet orders because I am online," she said. Walk-ins have been down, but those others have made up for that. 

While the forecast is concerning, Blankenship said it won't stop the shop from delivering those messages of love.

The 12 best places to order flowers online for Valentine's Day

"We are just hoping the weather hangs on for us. I mean, ice sleet and snow, the post office still goes so we are still going to go," she said.

Blankenship said she has added extra drivers to her staff so they won't have to be in as big a rush while out making those deliveries and customers can make things easier by calling those orders in as early as they can and not waiting till Saturday since Sunday is the big day.

She said COVID-19 has made it harder for her to get some of the supplies that she normally orders and that it has caused some of the things she normally carries to be cost prohibitive. 

Coby Neal, the owner of The Flower Studio, creates a floral arrangement on Feb. 6, 2021.  The flower shop has been open in Austin for about 28 years. 

Neal said flowers are important especially during this time when folks can't gather because of the coronavirus. 

"What a better way to say 'I love you' and that 'I'm thinking about you' other than sending someone flowers," he said. 

Neal said by the evening of 14th the company should have completed between 300 and 400 orders for Valentine's Day.

More than half  of U.S. adults plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year, spending a total of $21.8 billion, according to the annual survey released recently by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics.

“There is no question the pandemic has disrupted many aspects of Americans’ daily interactions and activities,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay in a statement about the survey found on the organization's website. “However, there remains a special significance around Valentine’s Day, and consumers are committed to celebrating friends and loved ones, even if that means having to alter those traditional holiday celebrations.”

The NRF survey said that Nearly three-quarters of consumers celebrating Valentine’s Day this year, who were questioned, feel it is important to do so given the current state of the pandemic.

Coby Neal, the owner of The Flower Studio, creates a floral arrangement on Feb. 6, 2021.  The shop has been open in Austin for about 28 years. 

Neal said flowers are important especially during this time when folks can't gather because of the coronavirus. 

"What a better way to say 'I love you' and that 'I'm thinking about you' other than sending someone flowers," he said. 

Neal said by the evening of 14th the company should have completed between 300 and 400 orders for Valentine's Day.

"It is clear the virus is still front and center, with 74 percent indicating it will directly impact their plans for the holiday. Those celebrating can still expect the classic candy, cards and flowers, but there is a significant decline in the number of consumers who will plan for an evening out. Less than one-quarter (24 percent) of consumers plan to gift their loved one with an evening out, the lowest in the survey’s history. Even still, 41 percent say they will plan a special dinner or celebration in the comfort of their own home," said the NRF statement.