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Flowers and chocolate in short supply this Valentine’s Day

KOLD News 5-5:30 p.m. recurring
Published: Feb. 10, 2022 at 6:29 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Happening now: the final scramble to get your loved ones something for Valentine’s Day.

The big day is just around the corner, but this year valentine’s staples like red roses and chocolates are in short supply.

“We have had problems getting stuff. Originally when COVID first hit, we lost our wholesaler because they were worldwide and they shut down,” Flower Shop on 4th Avenue owner Pati Velasquez said.

They are prepping for their busiest time of year. They already have hundreds of orders for Valentine’s Day and they’re expecting more to come. However, it’s gotten harder to keep certain flowers in stock. Velasquez says it takes her weeks to find what she needs for the shop and it’s more expensive than ever.

“Everything’s gone up. Everything’s gone up. One of our main wholesalers doubled our delivery cost just within the past month,” she said.

Prices have gone up about a dollar a stem, but the quality has gone down. She said they’ve taken certain items off their website because of the shortage in good quality flowers.

“Sunflowers have been like pulling teeth to find. A lot of stuff hasn’t been as readily available anymore. Sometimes we have to go overseas to find stuff which raises all the prices and then we spend a lot of time looking for stuff,” she said.

The supply chain is hitting the flower industry hard, but the weather has also been a key issue.

“I think as these flower farms started to come back, they had weather issues. So, that made shortages in certain areas so it made just kind of an overall shortage,” supply chain expert Ken Gyure said.

He expects shortages like this to last through 2022. He says the supply and demand is also driving up inflation.

“I know that the prices of flowers has gone up significantly. What used to be a $10 cheap bouquet of roses, is now about $25. So, it’s doubled if not more in some cases,” he said.

It’s not just a shortage in flowers, Valentine’s Day chocolates are taking a hit as well.

“It’s the specialized boxes for this time of year. If you could just put it in a plastic bag and give it someone that’d be really easy, but it’s not very romantic. So, that’s just getting the raw materials and getting things shipped around to be able to fulfill the demand,” he explained.

The National Retail Federation reports the average person is expected to spend more than $175 on Valentine’s Day this year, up more than $10 from last year.

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