Local stores weather Valentine’s supply chain woes


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Local stores weather Valentine's supply chain woes

Local stores weather Valentine’s supply chain woes

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Jericho, Vermont (WCAX) – Small businesses are struggling to get you a Valentine’s Day gift, but supply chain issues may break some hearts.

Jericho’s Snowflakes smell like Valentine’s Day, and the staff creates and sells a festive mainstay. “Since Christmas 2019, it’s almost like Christmas never ends — it’s crazy,” said Betsy Soutier, who runs the business with her sister, Sharon Wintersteen. COVID-19 supply chain issues have been a hurdle and will only intensify during the major chocolate holidays, she said. “I have packages that I received from Rhode Island that would normally take three weeks to get to us, now it’s taking 26 weeks.”

In addition to packaging delays, the sisters said the Valentine’s Day staple heart-shaped box has risen in price by about 55 percent since last year. “They started out as expensive boxes, so it just made the product more expensive,” Soutier said.

“The last thing we want to do is have you walk through our doors and be intimidated by the pricing because it’s not us,” Wintersteen said.

In Burlington, staff at Kathy & Co Flowers took a day off before peak hours. Owner AJ Koster said the flower industry was also addressing supply issues. “We’ve seen some high-end flowers go up in price, so we can’t use them,” Coster said. As for the glass vases, the store says they ordered a bunch last year and are still receiving delayed shipments. “There was a problem with the supply chain from China, so last year a lot of florists were stocking up for this year’s V-day.”

Because people often buy flowers at the last minute and the Super Bowl is the day before Valentine’s Day, Coster said they don’t expect much traffic before the holiday, so they’re preparing for a busier-than-usual holiday. “

Both stores say it’s more important than ever to shop locally and in small stores. “Hey, you know, it’s tough right now, so just eat chocolate,” Wintersteen said

“We’re very excited and very prepared,” Coster added.

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