Local florists face product shortages during high demand time

Local Coronavirus Coverage

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL ) – Florists in the Tri-Cities are facing a problem as they prepare for the fast-approaching holiday season – there aren’t enough flowers.

Florists have been busier than ever this year due to COVID-19, and like many other businesses, they’re experiencing shortages of products and staff.

“Mostly, it’s white roses,” Roddy Bird, owner of Roddy’s Flowers, said. “We’re having problems with a lot of white flowers.”

Bird said he thinks this could be partially due to a shortage of staff that drives the trucks for suppliers. He’s looking to hire a few more employees to help during the busy time himself.

Bird said lately there’s been an increase in demand for flowers, especially for funerals.

“It’s a two-edged sword for us,” Bird said. “You know, I hate it for the people, but that’s how we make our living, you know, like funeral homes.”

Over at Anna Marie’s Florist, owner Stephen Shanks said that they’ve had a little difficulty getting glassware and white roses as well. Shanks said some of that could have to do with the demand for weddings.

“Roses are kind of a special flower to us. We use a lot of roses in what we do, so we’re missing the white roses,” Shanks said. “But we’re still getting some white roses, just not as many, and not as plentiful, and not as sure of it as we were before.”

Shanks said yet another factor when it comes to supply is the weather. When areas flood, that can also cause shortages.

Both flower shops said despite difficulty finding products, they work with multiple suppliers to make sure they’re still able to get what they need.

“We feel like we bring beauty and joy to the community,” Shanks said. “Even with funeral work, we feel like there’s an uplifting sort of feeling that happens with flowers, and we feel real glad that we can be a part of that.”

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