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Yoakum florist closes for Valentine's Day annually

By ALLISON MILES
Feb. 13, 2011 at 10:05 p.m.
Updated Feb. 12, 2011 at 8:13 p.m.


Did you know?

Nationwide, people will spend an estimated $1.7 billion on flowers this Valentine's Day.

Source: National Retail Federation news release

Many florists spend the time leading up to Valentine's Day hustling to gather roses, filling the taller-than-usual orders and attempting to maintain some semblance of calm.

Things are a bit more serene at Ann's Flowers, however. The Yoakum flower shop closes the week before Cupid's big day.

Several factors contribute to the annual close, which began seven years ago, said Ann Clark, who owns the shop.

Staffing is one issue, she said. Although she does take on some part-time help, she said it isn't enough to take on the added load the special day brings.

"Ask any store what would happen if they cut down the staff to one or two people," said Clark, who has owned the store for 38 years. "You'd get the same answer. It's tough."

Flowers have also become more expensive in recent years, she said. And, with the unseasonably cold weather, many wholesalers receive flowers that are frozen, she said.

Yoakum's other floral store, Karl's Flowers & Gift Shop, remains busy throughout the holiday, owner Cheryl Loos said. A typical day brings between 10 and 50 deliveries, she explained, but that number can jump to 500 when Valentine's Day rolls around.

"I tell my employees, 'If you're already on the Titanic, just hope you can swim,'" she said with a laugh. "What's going to happen is going to happen."

Although the holiday means extra work for Loos and the staff - the number of employees typically quadruples with seasonal help - Loos said she enjoys it.

"Valentine's Day is a wonderful day," she said. "It's just so neat to see everyone spreading love."

Ann's Flowers' close does push more business her way, Loos said, but she's grown used to the increase with time. The staff begins preparing about two weeks ahead of time and urges customers to place orders early when possible.

"It's the biggest holiday and it's a lot of work," she said. "But we've trained ourselves to be ready."

As for Clark, she said she opens up if necessary for funerals but, otherwise, plans to keep her doors closed throughout the holiday.

She said she is not sure when she will re-open, possibly by the end of the week.

"I think I'll come out ahead by being closed," she said.

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