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It all came together to make Valentine’s Day 2013 a record-setter. One of the biggest floral sales days of the year fell on a Thursday, when couples are less likely to go out to dinner or entertainment and flowers are the preferred gift. The weather was generally sunny, so shoppers were free to roam and the supply chain remained intact. There was no dockworkers’ strike in the United States, and no big floods or freezes in South America.

Topping it all off, customers responded to the stirrings of economic recovery and were more likely to splurge on pricier floral arrangements, according to retailers The Produce News talked to.

No rest for the wicked, though: Women’s Day on March 8 followed on the heels of Valentine’s Day, with Easter and Mother’s Day beckoning on the horizon. Spring is springing, and floral folks are on a roll.

In this issue, we have a recap on Valentine’s Day sales, and we report about the potential for a new floral hub at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport with the plan for a new perishables center there. We also take a look at immigration reform and a possible new guest worker program, key to the floral industry and a top priority for congressional lobbying days for the Society of American Florists.  

We’re off to the World Floral Expo in New York, and will bring you a full report in April. Let the good times continue to roll. See you next month.

John Niblock is the floral editor and floral sales manager of The Produce News. He can be contacted at 843/724-9888 or