Florists face supply chain issues as business picks up for Valentine’s Day

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Jason Ryberg is getting ready for Valentine’s Day by putting together floral arrangements for the sweetheart holiday.

Ryberg is the general manager of Albuquerque Florist on San Mateo. He says flowers have been a nice way for people to keep in touch and to send thoughtful gifts throughout the pandemic. Now, his business is experiencing one of its busiest times of the year.

"We do double up our staff, buckle down and work long hours," Ryberg said. "We just try to get everything we can get done."

The flower industry is not immune from supply chain issues either.

"Not just flowers, but the hard goods that we use," Ryberg noted. "Something as simple as the floral foam that we use in almost everything has been in a very short supply."

Add to that, there are higher shipping costs on just about everything – and flowers this year may be more expensive this year but not necessarily in short supply.

"They seem not to be in short supply so much as it’s more expensive," Ryberg said. "The farms are doing what they do every year – they raise the prices on us which, in turn, makes us have to raise our price as well."

Heading into Valentine’s Day this year, a dozen red roses is around $80. If you’re on a budget, Ryberg suggests calling up a local florist, instead of a conglomerate delivery service that will tack on charges. He also suggests considering mixed bouquets.

Ryberg says the next big holiday for them will be Mother’s Day, May 8. However, he doesn’t anticipate the supply chain issues being fixed by then.