ATLANTA (CBS Atlanta) — Valentine’s Day is drawing near – a day usually marked by the delivery of countless bouquets of flowers to homes and offices throughout the nation. Some florists may have to improvise, though, as the winter weather across the South could make those deliveries a dangerous undertaking for big and small operations alike.
Todd Hausman of Peachtree Petals in Atlanta said that, while product availability won’t be affected, scheduled delivery times might be.
“Since every shop lost today as a delivery day … those scheduled deliveries will now roll into tomorrow,” he said. “Most shops will probably be able to deliver tomorrow although we will be starting later in the day due to weather and possible road conditions.”
Hausman continued, “Starting later shortens our delivery window for businesses, and the weather creates a second challenge of deliveries going to businesses which now may or may not be closed Thursday and possibly even Friday.”
FTD president and CEO Rob Apatoff said that his operation was also making arrangements – of the non-floral variety – to ensure safe and efficient deliveries.
“At FTD, we are proactively working with our florists and carriers in the areas impacted by the severe winter weather,” he said, adding that the weather might alter anticipated delivery times for his company as well. “In some instances, a floral or gift item may arrive earlier than the requested delivery date to prevent the gift from arriving after the holiday.”
He was hopeful that deliveries will still be made, however, adding that “FTD will all do we can to make sure Cupid wins out over Mother Nature.”
The timing of other popular Valentine’s Day deliveries could be affected as well – Mindy Porter, the senior director of supply chain solutions for Edible Arrangements, said that consideration of weather is also a factor for their operation, and that contingency plans are put in place in the face of serious storms.
“We monitor weather across the country, not just in the storm-affected regions, and we work with our growers, distributors, and truckers to anticipate and manage fulfillment in cases of inclement weather – delivering extra produce to meet demand, making early deliveries so stores can complete orders and most of all, encouraging all parties to work as a team to make sure we’re successful,” she said. “When facing extreme weather that might affect deliveries to our guests, we often reach out to many of them to help best meet their delivery expectations.”
Though the worst of the storm will have passed by Valentine’s Day, Hausman still advised customers to take precautions and to communicate with their florists to ensure receipt of their intended packages.
“We would encourage anyone who has ordered flowers to contact your florist if you know the business will be closed and we can redirect it to a residential address,” he said.