A Message From Lane DeVries, President and CEO of Sun Valley Group

Dear Floral Industry Partners,

The events surrounding the recent COVID-19 pandemic have caused much fear, panic and uncertainty in America and around the world.

It is easy to get caught up in the hysteria of the 24-hour news cycle, with “breaking news” flashes of closures of major events, but at this seemingly very dark time, I believe we are embarking on a great opportunity for the flower business.

Public events of all sorts have been cancelled, (international) air travel has virtually come to a halt, restaurants are nearly deserted, but the one place that people are resorting to, is the safe surrounding of the home. The prospect of people spending more time at home in the coming weeks is precisely where we, as a floral industry can help play an important role.

Flowers are the unifying symbol of joy, beauty, cheerfulness and healing. Flowers have a positive effect on overall health, they are a mood booster, and a stress reducer. Flowers have the capability to fulfill a deep yearning for peace and joy in the hearts and souls of the consumer particularly at this time.

Rather than retreating, I ask everyone in the floral industry to turn this crisis into a defining moment of permanently changing the paradigm of floral purchasing behavior.

Historically USA floral consumption has been is characterized as holiday centric, with Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day as peak flower consumption periods.

A Rutgers University study conducted several years ago, indicated that flowers bring happiness. Emphasizing the intrinsic value of flowers in the home as an everyday gift, or for self-use, will help provide joy, brightness, hope and even healing. Flowers will help counteract the negative messages and darkness that is prevalent at this very moment. Flowers will assuage troubled minds, and bring peace to hearts and souls in these times of anxiety and fear.

You may wonder what can be done to help advance an industry wide paradigm shift: here are some ideas that can be implemented:

·      Use of In-Store Communication about the transforming power of flowers. Educational material is available which you can immediately download and begin to use to communicate the health benefits of flowers with your staff and customers.

·     Download flyer here.

·     Capitalize on the reach of Social Media to be promoting the (health) benefits of flowers across all social media channels.

In conclusion, let’s take this historic moment in time as a defining opportunity to prove that flowers can and will change lives.

Thank you,
Lane DeVries