Flower shortage hits businesses as wedding boom drives demand

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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) – A shortage of flowers is putting a strain on businesses trying to get enough to their customers.

Florists and event planners say finding the right flowers has become a challenge in recent months amid increased demand. They also said wholesalers are short on supply because of labor and distribution issues, which could impact events such as weddings or funerals.

Randy and India Rogers have owned Flowers By Richard for the past three years, but the shop has been a fixture of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, for three decades.

They said they’ve had to do more work and get more creative to get the flowers they need, sourcing flowers from Ecuador or Hawaii and getting them shipped overnight to Myrtle Beach.

“We still have other sources, and so we still make it happen. So even though it may take us a little while longer than normal, we still can do it,” India Rogers said.

The Rogers’ said flowers are not the only thing in short supply. Things as greenery, pots and vases are hard to get as well.

According to floristsreview.com, the current dip in the flower supply is due to factors including last year’s global pandemic shutdown, as well as poor weather, increased truck driver demand, increased international shipping rates, and simply a higher flower demand.

Farms around the world, including in the United States, South America and the Netherlands, supply florists and retailers with flowers, and demand is soaring as the industry responds in large part to a boom in rescheduled weddings that had been put off during the shutdown.

Debbie Benson, co-owner of Gigi Noelle Events in Myrtle Beach, said she’s had difficulty getting flower deliveries, too.

“I put my orders in two to three weeks out, and I’m not getting them,” Benson said.

Benson said the shortage impacts weddings the most because brides often pay a year, even two, in advance for some of the flower arrangements. With prices at a premium, Benson said, the high costs of securing specific flowers have to be passed down to the customers.

“There’s nothing I can do,” Benson said. “Frequently, I’ll just have to say ‘I’m really sorry, but I can’t get peonies.’ They’re $65 a bunch now, and that’s for 10. And you need a lot more than 10, so I’ll just have to explain to them that there’s just no way unless they want to up their budget, and most brides don’t really want to do that.”

Florists and event planners alike said they don’t know how long the shortage will last. Benson does know that the industry is trying to keep customers satisfied.

“We’re all trying,” Benson said. “All the florists, regardless of what we do, our goal is to make our customers happy, hopefully, on the happiest day of their life, and we’re doing our best.”

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