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Inflation and supply chain issues affecting Valentine's Day shopping

Americans are expected to spend $24 billion dollars on Valentine's Day this year, with increased demand and higher prices driving the steep price tag.

LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. — As Valentine’s Day quickly approaches, it’s all hands on deck at Royer’s Flowers and Gifts in East Hempfield Township.

“This is our big playoff," said Cheryl Brill, chief operating officer of Royer’s. "This is the biggest weekend we’ll have all year long."

It’s the same story a few miles away at Evans Candy.

“Everyone has to get their sweetheart something sweet to eat,” said store owner Steve Evans.

Both businesses have spent months preparing for the holiday weekend, especially with the supply chain issues each industry is facing.

“Anything from packaging, to sugar, to the chocolate itself, there’s definitely been some issues where it’s available then it’s not,” explained Evans.

He says his business hasn’t been immune to inflation, either.

“Even just our fancy little red heart boxes have really had a pretty hefty jump, especially when I was ordering fresh supplies at the beginning of the year," said Evans. "I was a little surprised.” 

Hikes in supply costs forced Evans to bump up some prices back in the fall. Fortunately, most items have stayed consistent since.

“We haven’t changed anything since that time other than a few random items that have spiked up a little bit, whether it would be something with packaging or a very specific item,” he said.

Brill says Royer’s has navigated supply chain disruptions pretty well.

”We’ve been in business since the thirties, so we know what we’re doing, and we have great relationships with our suppliers, so we’re loaded,” said Brill.

However, with 12,000 deliveries expected to go out across its 17 locations on Monday, staffing is a challenge.

Royer’s is asking for help from drivers in the public and paying them $150 to get it all done.

“We know gas got more expensive this year, so we’re giving a bit of a premium on Valentine’s Day,” said Brill. “We need lots of people to be Cupid’s helpers so we put it on all of our marquees to come in, and we’ve done pretty well with that too.”

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