This year, nothing is normal and neither will be Valentine’s Day.
However, French independent florist/ floral designer Alice Raux sees a positive difference with COVID-19 regarding Valentine’s Day this year in the South of France.
The florist explains that she has to plan this at least a month in advance like all commercial celebrations because there is a huge demand for red roses and red flowers in general. So growers cannot necessarily guarantee all the quantities.
“Valentine’s Day’s is a business that is important every year because it’s a bit of a hostage-taking celebration, what I mean by this is that we always say it’s commercial and we don’t care but in the end we do care, especially us girls.”alice raux
During this crisis, Alice explains that there are more and more florists who no longer want to work with the big French flower chains like Interflora, Aquarelle but also 123fleurs because according to her:
“The profitability is really shabby, says Alice. We work to feed these big chains, it is becoming like slavery for the florists.”alice raux
This is the reason why florists have developed their delivery with the click and collect system.
“I personally see a positive difference with covid. Compared to last year I have made more profitable deliveries because I have developed the click and collect system myself instead of going through big florist chains.”alice raux
Given the Covid-19, Alice has basically developed her communication via social networks such as Instagram for example on her account @aliceflowers_event, where she interacts with her community through little contests but also where she offers to deliver at home, or to come and collect the order in a relay point.
“It’s really the innovation with the Covid-19 to offer more and more things per delivery and per pick-up point.”Alice Raux
She also adds that because of the current pandemic we will not have the traditional Valentine’s Day restaurant. Indeed, Pascal Levier, a French restaurateur in Bordeaux is distraught regarding the non-opening of his business on Valentine’s Day.
“It’s another hard hit for us.”pascal levier
He was hoping that the situation could have evolved positively this time. Usually this day represents an important part of his income of the year.
“The state could at least have opened the floodgates and allowed us to open exceptionally on that day to rectify the situation after a year of misery.”pascal levier
However, Alice Raux has therefore decided to play a new card by proposing collaborations for this special event. This year, she has made three collaborations. Firstly, with Atelier Beguin where they offer hand-embroidered underwear with small sentences of poetry and puns written, in a box with a beautiful rose.
She has also collaborated with Rose Bonbon Création who creates little figurines of people and Alice puts them under a bell with dried flowers.
Finally the third collaboration with POZ&PAPER presents small lucky-charm vials with little poems and dried flowers.
According to Alice, the ‘small positive point’ of COVID-19 is that this year florists have increasingly turned to local growers, which has avoided having a too negative impact on the planet.
“I am lucky to have in le Var (a department in the South of France) a few producers who make quality flowers. This is an advantage because it guarantees me flowers that are freshly cut and have travelled very little. In terms of price and quality, they are therefore very interesting for my customers and this allows me to maintain my clientele by offering fresh products at the right price.”alice raux