Business is blooming at flower shops amid pandemic, retailers say
TORONTO -- Flower shops report business is growing steadily during the COVID-19 pandemic, attributing the sales boost to people wanting to brighten up their homes.
"Everybody's home, everybody is working from home and they want to see nice things, when they come by that's what they tell me," Kathy Ninaka, owner of The Kingston Road Flower Market, said.
The want to brighten up the home comes as many people are now working from home.
David Gonzalez picked up a bouquet to cheer up his partner. He says they now regularly buy flowers for their place.
"I'm working from home now, and I have a nice bouquet in front of me, it's really nice, it helps with the mental health and being stuck inside all the time.”
The Kingston Flower Market buys it product from the Ontario Flower Grower (OFG) at its regular Tuesday auction. Farmers bring their product to the Mississauga warehouse where the flowers are distributed to independent flower shops around the GTA.
The OFG's general manager says he is "kind of surprised, we didn't think it was going to go so well.”
Jack Vandermass says he was expecting the worst when the province shut down.
"We didn't think this was going to happen because a lot of the events did not go ahead like weddings and funerals, and that's our main business basically."
He says it is the independent flower shops and their loyal local customers who are behind the sales surge.
Then there is a whole in generation showing interest.
"Millennials are finally buying plants. It took a pandemic to do it,” Paul Gellatly, of The Toronto Botanical Garden, said.
He said they are even growing plants in their homes and selling them online, "a way for them to make money" while off work during the pandemic.