Flowers by the Numbers – A Rosy Picture for Florists

Chocolates, a card and lots of flowers. Lots of flowers.

Valentine’s Day is a $13 billion dollar industry in the United States, with the average consumer spending $116 on the holiday. Domestically, $403 million is spent on flowers, making the holiday tops for florists, beating out Christmas and Mother’s Day.

WCCO just named Laurel Street Flowers in St. Paul one of “Best Florists for Valentine’s Day Flowers in Minnesota.” The shop, owned by Sue Wagner, a 23 year University of St. Thomas employee before getting into the floral business full-time in 2012, said she’s better prepared for the increase in volume than she was during her first Valentine’s Day in the business last year.

Laurel Street Flowers grows from two employees to six this week and she is increasing the use of the delivery service she contracts with. “Most of the people helping are veterans at this. This year we were better at predicting what the holiday would look like and I’m actually planning to use one person less than last year for help,” said Wagner.

In an average year, 196 million roses are produced for Valentine’s Day. Wagner bought 850 to sell, making them her top seller for February 14, despite the fact that many people come in to purchase “anything but roses.” Regardless of what they’re buying, she’s seeing an uptick in demand over last year.

“We’ve had good reviews this year. Maybe that’s why we’re getting a lot more calls from people that haven’t called us in the past,” added Wagner. “So far we’re getting orders that are a lot larger bouquets, and people are spending more money.”

Wagner sees more men through her doors this time of year, which fits right in with national trends. They account for 64 percent of flower purchases, with 89 percent of them buying for a spouse or significant other. Women also pony up for spouses and significant others, accounting for 44 percent of their purchases. While men buy mostly for romantic reasons, women use the holiday as an opportunity to show they care, buying for mothers (29 percent), daughters (15 percent) and friends (9 percent).

In total, 25 percent of adults buy flowers or plants for Valentine’s Day, making flowers the fourth most purchased Valentine’s Day gift, behind cards, candy and dining out.

Those that don’t have a significant other, but love flowers, are not alone. Six percent of men and 14 percent of women buy for themselves.

For those that have a significant other and aren’t sure what to buy: make sure you get something. Fifty-three percent of women say they would end their relationship if they don’t get a gift for Valentine’s Day. Don’t become a statistic.

Information from:

Data collected by IPSOS-Insight FloralTrends Consumer Tracking Study, 2005; and eNation National On-Line Research, Synovate, 2013.

Retail Advertising and Marketing Association, Valentine’s Day Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey