Flower shops facing increasing demand, shortage in supplies

Kent County

GRAND RAPIDS TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — This time last year flower shops weren’t allowed to be open, which led to an oversupply. Now, with increasing demand, store owners are dealing with the opposite, as pandemic-related shortages pose challenges for the flower industry. 

“We’ve gone through different shortages in a variety of capacities from flowers, to hard goods like vases or ribbon, to plants and really the name of the game has been adaptability,” said Holly Haveman, brand ambassador for Kennedy’s Flower Shop

The biggest issue she’s facing now is vase shortages. Many of the shop’s tried and true vases are out of stock for the foreseeable future. She said it’s likely this is a result of glass companies putting a focus on food containers over other products. 

“The world is so interconnected now. You know, a supply chain is an interlinkage of many of these different businesses and with the pandemic, it started this little ripple effect.”

Haveman said they have had to learn to be flexible, finding new providers, working with more local farms, and getting creative with designs. With orders increasing for Mother’s Day, the shortages also must be communicated with customers who might be looking for a specific arrangement. 

Bouquets of flowers on display at Kennedy’s Flower Shop on Cascade in Grand Rapids Township.

“We’ve been kind of warned that you know carnations, alstroemeria, roses might be hard to come by. South America went through a difficult season with lots of rain and not much sun, so the growing conditions weren’t the best and a lot of those flowers do come in from South America,” Haveman said. 

The shortages have led to an increase in flower costs, but fortunately, Kennedy’s has not had to increase prices for customers as a result. For anyone looking to order, Haveman recommends giving the shop some freedom, going with options like designer’s choice. 

“When the designers are able to pick what we have in stock, look and see what is the most beautiful vibrant flower, it allows them to be the artist they are and us to use the products that will go best and make the recipient the happiest.”

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