COVID-19 Update: Our steps to ensure the safety of our employees and customers
Additional steps during Mother’s Day:
HOW HAS COVID AFFECTED THE FLORAL INDUSTRY:
There is a flower shortage right now. The supply-demand imbalance for flowers is unprecedented and we want to take this opportunity to explain what is causing the tight market conditions and how this is all impacting the days, weeks and months ahead. Common flowers that are usually abundant have become hard to find! Common flowers such as carnations, daisies, roses and numerous others!
· COVID: One year ago, the entire world confronted a massive disruption from the Covid pandemic. Many florists and growers closed down, some permanently. Around the world, flower growers were impacted as flower demand collapsed, and nobody could predict what would happen next. As a result, several growers made decisions in 2020, reducing cost and cutting back production (planted less plants). We are still dealing with those down streaming effects..because in reality, demand became high for flowers, consumers valued flowers and plants to connect with others when they couldn’t connect in person.
· 2) MOTHER NATURE: Gotta love Mother Nature, something you can’t ever predict! There has been nonstop rain and cool temperatures in Ecuador and Colombia, two of our major flower suppliers. The sun would show up occasionally but not enough to make a difference. The past few weeks have had hailstorms in Ecuador that shredded rose houses...and constant rain in Medellin that have had water gushing out of hydrangea and pompon (daisies) houses. Heck, they even experienced volcanic ash spewn into the air grounding planes that would not fly through it in Ecuador! NO JOKE!
· 3) LOGISTICS: Also a result of covid…the pandemic wreaked havoc with the flower supply chain and logistics companies that get flowers to us fresh from the farms. Passenger flights have been dramatically reduced, forcing increased demand to cargo airlines for freight. In some case, cargo planes themselves have been redeployed from South American to other regions of the world to accommodate the spiking demand. The result---higher prices for air cargo and less availability of space for perishable items like flowers. Our major supplier has decided to chart their own planes for Mother's Day orders because their product missed planes for the Valentine's Day orders. In addition, there was already a lack of truck drivers before the pandemic to complicate things even more.
· 4) MASS MARKET BOUQUET MAKERS: Several large scale grower/bouquet makers supplying mass markets have acquired South American farms, thus reducing product available to the florist channel. For example, those bundle of flowers available at large chain retailers.
· 5) DEMAND: All these factors have affected the supply chain over the last year…just as people are sending more flowers, because they have been separated from loved ones for so long. We LOVE that consumers have found the value in flowers & plants! This is exciting and promising for our industry and we hope the sending of flowers more often continues! The challenge for us though, is that the spiking demand for flowers is occurring at precisely the time when flower supply is low!
Thank you for you patience and understanding. We guarantee our customers that we had made every effort to get the flowers you want at a reasonable price. We ask that you bear with us as we strive to provide the outstanding service & product that you have come to expect from Tillie's.
We have been finalizing what will be shipped this past weekend (the last shipment before Mom’s Big Day). Some substitutions had to be made and we have learned to keep pivoting and go with it! This became a holiday of extreme flexibility and “out of the box” creative thinking. Please know we do everything we can to fill orders to everyone’s specifications but, there will be times where flexibility is needed so please bare with us and trust us with substitutions. We are hopeful for a more normal supply level in the months ahead!
Times like this remind us how thankful we are to be a part of such a vibrant and resilient community, and how truly grateful we are for each and every one of our customers. We are always happy to assist you over the phone at 316-687-0630 or via our website at. Our top priority is to keep the entire Tillie's Flower Shop community safe, and we will continue to assess and address the how this pandemic is affecting the floral industry as it evolves.