Victorian florists scramble as Valentine’s Day turns to shambles

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Florists in Victoria are scrambling to figure out how to deal with extra stock as the state enters a stage-four five-day lockdown.

Valentine’s Day, along with the day prior, is one of the busiest times of the year for florists. Hundreds of people typically seen lining up to buy roses or other flowers for their significant other.

February 13, 2021; Silence. Streets are empty as florists sit wondering how to sell their fresh stock of flowers.

“We’re just in a state of shock and disbelief. The timing couldn’t be any worse,” Florist Michael Pavlou, who has two stores in Melbourne, said to ABC News.

Azalea florist owner Michael Pavlou. Photo: South Melbourne Markets

“We’re holding so much perishable stock, it’s potentially shattering for a lot of Victorian small businesses. We’re holding so much value of red roses and perishable items. If they don’t find homes, it will put us back years.”

He said he hoped to be able to sell some of his stock online.

“Valentine’s Day, it’s a big thing. People are working on it for at least a month out, we have been ready, preparing all of our arrangements for a couple of days. A team of 10 people every day,” he said.

“So, it’s not just the loss of the goods, it’s the labour that’s already been invested. You can’t recover that and I am concerned for a lot of my friends who might not survive this,” he said.

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