Florists should get all-clear for Mother’s Day sales
Mother’s Day flowers. Photo Getty Images Safety and social distancing restrictions in place to halt the spread of coronavirus have upended many beloved family traditions — from proms to graduations and birthday parties.
But there’s a glimmer of hope that Mother’s Day can be salvaged to a great extent, as Gov. Charlie Baker noted he’ll soon have an announcement regarding flower deliveries.
Florists are among the non-essential businesses being told to remain closed through at least May 18. But a group from the Retailers Association of Massachusetts, which was set to make a presentation Wednesday to the advisory committee leading the effort to reopen the economy, made a bid to at least let employees work in closed retail stores. That way phone orders could be taken, and deliveries prepared.
Mother’s Day has been called the Super Bowl for the florist industry, and it’s no wonder. Americans were expected to spend a record $2.6 billion on flowers for mom last year, according to the National Retail Federation.
Besides the fiscal windfall, there’s the simple, sweet convention of giving one’s mother a nice bouquet. The gesture means a lot, and it would be a shame if the coronavirus claimed that as well.
The clock is ticking, with Mother’s Day a little over a week away. “If you want to pick up flowers for mom, what are you supposed to do? Go into Stop & Shop? How does that make sense from even a health standpoint?” Retailers Association of Massachusetts President Jon Hurst asked.
When asked about lobbying from florists and other retailers requesting the administration relax restrictions on letting staff work in closed retail sites, Gov. Baker suggested that he’d heard their concerns. “We’ll have more to say about that one … in plenty of time for Mother’s Day,” he said during his daily coronavirus update.
Baker has an approval rating of 80% for the way he’s handled the coronavirus outbreak in Massachusetts, according to a poll conducted by researchers at Harvard, Northeastern University and Rutgers, and he’s earned those high marks for a reason.
He’s put together an advisory board to guide the reopening of the commonwealth’s economy while ordering everyone in the Bay State to wear masks, a good one-two punch aimed at getting us back on our collective feet while staying safe.
But the industry’s request is not a frivolous one, nor would it undo any of the gains we’ve made in halting the COVID-19 spread if undertaken properly. Just as supermarkets and grocery stores are staffed with personnel in protective masks and practicing social distancing as much as possible, so too could florists put together and deliver orders for Mother’s Day without endangering themselves or the public.
And it’s not just for mom — we all need a little jump-start to normalcy. Massachusetts residents have been under a stay-at-home advisory since March 24, and we have about two more weeks to go before things start to visibly shift. Being able to get back a normal holiday ritual such as sending mom a bunch of flowers would go […]