Merced florists have rosy outlook for business on Valentine’s Day

tmiller@mercedsunstar.comFebruary 12, 2014 

— Whether buying a loved one a dozen roses for Valentine’s Day is the right thing to do or submitting to the pressure of a commercial holiday, it’s a boon for local florists.

It’ll take about 15 people working 80 hours this week for Merced Floral to make sure recipients feel loved, said owner Trish Mattos. Valentine’s is typically the biggest single day of the year for her, she said.

About 40 orders would normally constitute a busy day, Mattos said, but Valentine’s Day is a horse of a different color. Business has been brisk this week and is shaping up to look like last year’s haul of about 400 orders.

“Last year was stellar,” the 46-year-old said.

The holiday has drummed up good business every year since about 2010 for the G Street flower shop. Mattos has owned the business since 2006 and said Merced Floral dates back to 1929, when it sold seeds.

Customers sometimes choose tropical or multicolored bouquets, Mattos said, but the most common purchase remains a dozen red roses. Some of those orders are coming in a day early, she said, because of the long weekend provided by Presidents Day on Monday.

Spending could be up this year for the holiday.

The average person plans to spend about $134 on gifts and dinner, which is up a few dollars from last year, according to a National Retail Federation survey. Nationwide, spending is expected to reach $17.3 billion.

A Blooming Affair Floral & Gifts on Main Street will fill an estimated 300 to 400 orders for its busiest day of the year, owner Terry Vargas said.

She expects to do about as well as last year, which was a good year. Vargas, who has owned the shop for 27 years, said Valentine’s Day is good for her business, no matter how the economy is faring.

People tend to crack open their wallets for romantic reasons, she said, even if the wallet is light. “When you’re in love, you’re in love,” Vargas said.

Both florists encouraged flower-buyers to call their local shop before a national supplier such as 1-800-Flowers or FTD Flowers.

Area florists fill those orders for the suppliers, but they take a percentage of the sale. When shoppers buy locally “you tend to get a little better value,” Mattos said.

Sun-Star staff writer Thaddeus Miller can be reached at (209) 385-2453 or tmiller@mercedsunstar.com.

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