Our Partners Fleurop: Let Flowers Do the Talking
Flowers are a classic for Valentine's Day. But are there any alternatives to red roses? We sat down to talk to Rinaldo Waser, COO of Fleurop-Interflora (Switzerland) AG. He told us all there is to know about Valentine's Day, where this tradition originated, and what you should bear in mind when giving flowers.
Mr. Walser, many claim Fleurop invented Valentine's Day. Is that true?
Sadly, no. Valentine's Day has existed since the era of the ancient Romans; the idea of gifting flower bouquets, in contrast, has only been around since 1908. Two thousand years ago, from February 13 to 15, Romans celebrated a fertility festival with a love lottery. This is the origin of Valentine's Day as large parts of the world know it today.
Nonetheless, Fleurop and ancient Romans do have something in common – our logo shows the Roman god, Mercury. He is known as the messenger of the gods.
Many people send flowers as a sign of love on Valentine's Day. How many tokens of love does Fleurop send on Valentine's Day?
In Switzerland, every Valentine's Day, we receive approximately 30,000 orders. This represents around 10% of total annual sales. Private clients are not the only ones buying flowers – corporate clients do, as well. The latter often order large quantities for their Valentine's Day campaigns.
Are these often last-minute orders?
Yes, very often. About one-third of the orders are for the same day. This is true not just on Valentine's Day, but generally speaking at Fleurop. With us, it is even possible to order until 3:00 p.m. Delivery will be on the same day. This is something that makes Fleurop special: Where else can you order and receive the delivery a few hours later?
Red roses symbolize love. Are red roses also the most frequently ordered flowers on February 14?
Yes, red roses are an absolute classic and highly coveted. In particular, the color and the shape of the bouquet play a crucial role on Valentine's Day. Which is why pink and red flowers are the favorites. Heart-shaped flower arrangements are also among the bestsellers. It is also interesting to note that, within Switzerland, there are different preferences for the types of bouquets. In German-speaking Switzerland, airy bouquets are preferred, whereas Western Switzerland favors compact ones.
Top Five Alternatives to Red Roses on Valentine's Day
Roses are not the only option: Fleurop reveals the five best alternatives for Valentine's Day and explains to us what they mean.
What else should we bear in mind when gifting flowers on Valentine's Day? For instance, does the size of the bouquet or the number of blossoms play a special role?
A classic that still applies today: A bouquet of roses should always have an uneven number of flowers – at least up until eleven. This tradition originated in France. In olden days, this was a way of showing that the flowers were bought not from the market, but from a florist. As it so happens, in those days, flowers were always sold in even numbers at the markets.
What flowers do you yourself give on Valentine's Day?
I love to give my wife a bouquet of multicolored roses. I also really like flower arrangements. They make the flowers last longer and the container can be reused later. If I want to make my bouquet special, I'll add an extra gift, such as a teddy bear, honey or wine.
At Fleurop, I'm sure you witness many moving love stories. Can you share one with us to conclude?
There really is a wide variety of stories. For instance, a partner business in Paris was asked to deliver 101 long-stemmed red roses to the Eiffel Tower on Valentine's Day. A young man was planning to propose to his girlfriend on the viewing platform there. The whole thing almost went wrong. The florist made it to the platform on time, but then there was a power outage. So the young couple had to climb the many stairs on foot. The girlfriend was wearing high-heeled shoes and was not happy. The boyfriend had to use all his powers of persuasion to get her to see it through. And it all worked out in the end! And there you have it – the power of flowers.