Supply chain issues impact florists in Tampa Bay

valentine bears
Posted at 10:01 PM, Feb 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-09 23:11:30-05

TAMPA, FLA. — Tampa Bay florists said the global pandemic has impacted their business and it created shortages of flowers and other products.

Christine Vasconcelo owns Bloomingdays Flower Shop on North Florida Avenue in Tampa. She has been in business for nearly 35 years.

She said labor shortages, poor weather, and supply chain issues due to the pandemic has created a shortage of flowers and other products.

"You have to forecast. You have to think it out a little bit because you can be stuck without product," said Christine Vasconcelo.

Vasconcelo said she has adjusted by buying products earlier. For example, she purchased giant teddy bears for Valentine's Day months ago. She has also shrunk the inventory online.

"I bought a lot of my product in December because I can hold this stuff," said Vasconcelo.

She encourages customers to place orders earlier so she has more time finding flowers.

"Something as simple as calla lilies last week, they weren’t available, but Monday I had one vendor that did have them so I was able to get them. I’m kind of just telling customers, let me know your wishes and if I can get it I’ll try my best," she said.

Florists purchase most of their flowers from across the country or outside the United States. For example, Vasconcelo said the sunflowers she received came from Ecuador or California.

"All of this is either Holland, Ecuador, California everything is brought in so we have to forecast what’s going to sell. Is it going to be white roses? is it going to be pink roses? she said.

Another Tampa Bay flower shop told ABC Action News there have been issues in every industry, but flower shops are adapting. They planned for Valentine's Day over the summer.

Vasconcelo said she will do her best to locate the flowers customers request.

"We try our best to work with customers, but at the same time they have to work with us too because we are all having this problem," she said.

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