Florists, retailers hope to resume Valentine’s sales today

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 13, 2010

Friday, Covington County florists were seeing “red,” not white as blankets of snow covered roadways, slowing business for the industry’s biggest shopping day of the year.

“With Valentine’s Day on a Sunday, that hurt us a bit,” said Alan Cotton of Alan Cotton’s Florist. “(Friday’s) snow messed with our delivery schedule a bit because all the offices were closed, but we (did) a good job tracking people down.

“This is the first time – and I opened in 1975 – that it has ever snowed for Valentine’s Day,” he said.

Cotton’s Friday was filled with walk-in customers and telephone hours in the morning hours.

“It’s funny – we’ve had several phone-in orders from up north and when we tell them we can’t deliver today because of the snow and they just laugh,” he said.

That same attitude could be found at Opp’s Lynne’s Gift Shop and Florist where Chicago native Tamara Williams was delivering Valentine’s surprises.

“This whole week people have been hyped up about the snow,” Williams said. “It’s more of a slush here. You just have to be very cautious.”

Williams said orders have been slow coming in during the front half of the week, but that was a different story on Friday.

“We kind of figured people would wait to the last minute, and they did,” she said. “But it was no problem for us. Hectic, but not a problem.”

Rebecca Young of Young’s Florist in Opp said the snow hit her business hard.

“I’m the only shop open on this street,” Young said. “But things are going to turn around Saturday. That’s going to be a big day for us, and the snow should be gone. I got my fingers crossed and I’m saying a prayer.”

And despite reports nationally of wholesale flower deliveries halted because of weather issues, no local florist said they had experienced a problem.

“I’ve got tons of flowers,” Young said. “Every cut flower you can imagine – roses, carnations, lilies, daises – anything you can imagine.”

On the court square in Andalusia, Ward & Co. remained open after other businesses had closed.

“We had real good business this morning,” owner Mike Ward said. “It’s Valentine’s weekend, so we need to be here.”

He said customers were shopping for Valentine gifts, North Face jackets and University of Alabama championship watches.

“That’s been a great item,” he said.