Shortages rise in floral industry as local florist prepares for Valentine’s Day

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -Owner of Porterfield’s Flowers, David Porterfield has been selling flowers since 1965, so he knows that planning for Valentine’s Day starts early.

“We started preparing probably a month ago by choosing the containers and designing the specials and preparing everything like the things we would need so we knew what to buy in fresh produce,” Porterfield said.

But as he began to order supplies, Porterfield says he began to find problems.

“There are some things we’re seeing that are hard to get, like fresh flowers aren’t as available or are less available than they normally were. Some of the mechanical parts of the arrangement, like what happens under the flowers to hold them together, those kinds of things have been rare and a bit more difficult,” he said.

While shortages can mean price increases, Porterfield says they try to keep customers from paying more.

“We absorb most of the price increases ourselves, we try not to raise the prices too much, they have to go up a bit maybe 10% something like that at most,” he said.

A shortage he escaped, the staff! Porterfield says he has drivers lined up to direct nearly 500 arrangements to lucky recipients.

“We will have seven trucks ready to go at seven in the morning and on weekends we will also deliver on Saturday and Sunday,” Porterfield said.

Even with shortages, Porterfield says he’s confident he’ll have plenty of options for these late-blooming gifts!

“That’s something we’ve learned over the years is that you can’t rely on men to order flowers a week in advance, it just doesn’t happen that much.”

Porterfield says they work especially hard not to turn down any orders, their store in Huntoon and Oakley will be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the Sunday before Valentine’s Day.

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