Town's flower shops welcome the end of lockdown
- Credit: Noah Vickers
Flower shops in Dereham are breathing a sigh of relief as the second national lockdown comes to an end, and are looking to 2021 with a mixture of optimism and uncertainty.
Maria Barber, who has been running Daisy's of Dereham for the last seven years, said the year “could have been worse”, especially as Mother’s Day was still able to happen.
“It was strange,” said Ms Barber, “because there was that sudden realisation that lockdown was coming.”
Ms Barber said her click-and-collect service had allowed her to weather the worst and that she’d even had international requests.
“Two or three times I sent flowers to a lady whose husband was in Dubai, as she’d come here to visit family and then been temporarily trapped by the lockdown. He called me and asked if I could send her some sunflowers,” said Ms Barber.
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Claire Crummett, who runs Bright and Beautiful Flowers on Wellington Road, said that cancelled weddings and workshops had impacted the industry.
“Most weddings have been deferred to next year," said Ms Crummett, “so I may have a really good year next year, but we just don’t know at the moment, because we still don’t know how long it’s going to be like this.”
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She said she was optimistic about trade improving in 2021 and added: "I’m just looking forward to getting back to normal.”
“As florists, we normally survive recessions reasonably well,” said Ian Nickerson, of Ian’s Floral Studio, “but this has hit us quite a lot.”
Mr Nickerson said that being restricted to online and phone trading meant florists missed those sales "where people happen to be walking around the town and think to themselves ‘oh, it’s our anniversary, I need some flowers’, because they don’t always think to ring, unfortunately".
“The town is deserted,” he said, “it’s amazing. But you just have to plod on… It makes you wonder when you see these big companies go, how the small ones do survive.”