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Why some London florists 'will be lined up almost to the door' on Valentine's Day

Did you wait until the last minute to find a gift for that special someone this Valentine's Day. Don't panic. Turns out most of us do.

A London florist says most of us wait to the last minute to say it with flowers

'Often we're lined up almost to the door' 0:41

A London florist says most flower shops will be lined up to the door on Valentine's Day because most of us wait until the last minute to buy something for our special someone. 

Jackie Bell-Jones, the owner and operator of Burke Flowers, said she's been preparing for more than a week for the big day, taking customer orders and making sure she has enough inventory to get her flower shop through the day. 

"Prep is definitely key for the success of the day," she said. "Compared to our other big days, this is our one big day that's mostly last-minute."

Bell-Jones said while flowers of all types fly off the shelves on Valentine's Day, the most popular item, by far, is roses, which sell by the thousands. 

"Flower-wise, roses being the biggest hit, we'll probably do anywhere between 1,800 and 2,200 roses just for Valentine's Day." 

Canada had almost eight million couples in 2011

Canadians buy a lot of roses, according to Statistics Canada, not only did we produce 5.38 million rose stems in 2016, we also imported 11.1 million cut roses and rose buds that same year, mostly from Peru and Ecuador. (Colin Butler/CBC News)

Canadians are big on roses, according to Statistics Canada. In 2016, our country produced some 5.38 million rose stems, while importing 11.1 million dozen cut roses or rose buds that same year at a value of $71.7 million. 

For Bell-Jones, the day means big sales. Often, more than any other big day. 

"We probably do anywhere between 300 to 350 deliveries, plus walk-ins that take place all day," she said. "Often we're lined up almost to the door." 

In 2011, Statistics Canada counted 7,861,860 couples in the country. Of them, 6.3 million were married and 1.6 million were common law.

While Valentine's Day is a day for couples, more of us are living alone, according to Stats Can. Nearly 14 per cent of the population lives without a partner or children, according to 2016 census data. 

That figure stood at just 1.8 per cent in 1951.

About the Author

Colin Butler

Video Journalist

Colin Butler is a veteran CBC reporter who's worked in Moncton, Saint John, Fredericton, Toronto, Kitchener-Waterloo, Hamilton and London, Ont. Email: colin.butler@cbc.ca