EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

May 10, 2014

Florists buckling down for Mother's Day

It’s no secret that plenty of people wait until the last minute to place orders for Mother’s Day, and florists around the region are feeling the pressure.

While different stores have developed different ways of dealing with the influx, they all have one thing in common: the number of orders climbs into the hundreds over Mother’s Day weekend.

Mclay’s Florist in North Andover occupies a snug space on Osgood Street. The back area behind the storefront was strewn with cut stems yesterday afternoon, and owner Kathleen Terranova scrambled to put arrangements together. Vases and baskets were piled into the back of a delivery van outside.

“I’m stressed,” she said.

Terranova’s business will celebrate its 50th anniversary in August, but in a half century, there has hardly been a predictable Mother’s Day, she said. She estimated the number of arrangements they will assemble and deliver in the next two days at about 500.

“It’s very crazy. We’re starting to do some cut-offs now,” she said, meaning that the shop will not be able to accommodate too many more orders.

According to the National Retail Federation, flowers are the gift of choice for about 66 percent of Mother’s Day shoppers. Of the $19.9 billion spent on Mother’s Day gifts this year, about $2.3 billion will be spent on flowers.

Still, Shirley Branco, the owner of Branco the Florist in Lawrence, said business “isn’t what it used to be.”

“I guess I blame the economy, and the fact that every pharmacy, every drug store has a floral department,” she said.

Branco has been open for 58 years, and she said that holidays like Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day, though hectic, are a welcome source of cash flow to cover the bills. She said she has her daughters, Eleanor Deglaoui and Mary Quinn, to thank for her business’s success.

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