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Rush of the roses: Local florists prepare for busiest day of the year
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Chris Turner arranges flowers at Dean Floral on Friday. The buckets of flowers around her are only a few of the several thousand that the shop plans to sell on Valentine’s Day. - photo by ANDREA GOODWIN/ The Journal

Valentine’s Day is one of the busiest times of the year for florists nationwide. The same holds true for local flower shops as they gear up for the mad rush of flower deliveries and drop-in customers on Monday.  

“Valentine’s Day is our biggest flower sales day,” said Ailin Yandergarian, manager at Yonan’s Flowers on Geer Road.

Yandergarian said that people spend more on Valentines’ flowers compared to Mother’s Day, which is nationally cited as the day with the most flower sales.

“People usually spend in the 100s on Valentines’ Day. They spend around $50 for Mother’s Day,” Yandergarian explained.

Linda Mikkelson of Dean Floral said that Valentine’s Day seems busier because people want their flowers delivered on the 14th and not earlier in the week. She said that business is usually a little better when Valentine’s Day falls on a week day, like it does this year.

“Guys usually want to send flowers to their wives work.  It makes them look better to have things delivered at work,” Mikkelson said.

Men are the most frequent buyers of flowers on Valentine’s Day. Yandergarian said that about 90 percent of her Valentine’s customers are men, and many of them wait until the last minute to purchase flowers. Mikkelson said that she has noticed an increase in pre-planned orders this year, but she still expects the last minute procrastinators on Monday.

There will be roses by the hundreds in Turlock come Monday. Yadegarian said the most popular Valentine’s bouquet is the classic dozen red roses. Mikkelson expects to sell around 2,000 roses on Valentine’s Day.

“I can’t even guess how many stems we will sell of every flower,” Mikkelson said.

According to the National Retail Federation, celebrants will spend $1.7 billion on flowers this Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s spending is expected to reach $15.7 billion total this year.

 “Though the economy will still be on their minds, Valentine’s Day holds a special place in many Americans’ hearts,” said Phil Rist, executive vice president, Strategic Initiatives, BIGresearch.

Mikkelson said that men are more willing to spend the money on flowers this year. She explained that Valentine’s roses cost more than during any other time of the year, but it is not artificial inflation by florists. She said that the price florists pay for roses from the grower more than doubles in February, but the retail cost of arrangements does not.

“We just hope to sell enough to pay for the extra help,” Mikkelson said.

On a normal day, Dean Floral has two or three people working on arrangements. There will be at least six people working on the Valentine’s rush, and five teams of two people delivering flowers on Monday.

Last minute procrastinators still have a few days to order flowers.  Mikkelson suggests buying from a local florist and not an online clearinghouse, which can often add on extra fees and can’t guarantee that the arrangement will be exactly to order.

To contact Andrea Goodwin, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2003.