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Roses Are Red, Love Is True. Here’s Why This Bouquet Costs $72.

To gather every last stem and ribbon, Mr. Patrikis is on the phone continuously, negotiating with 15 distributors to get one of the best deals.

“If you don’t know how you can buy from the wholesalers, the wholesalers are going to purchase you,” he said.

Depending on a stem’s length, the dimensions of the bloom and the nation of origin, a dozen roses in New York City can cost a customer from $10 from a street vendor to greater than $120 from a high-end florist. Mr. Patrikis prefers the Explorer number of red roses, which he said are likely to have larger blooms and stay fresh longer than another varieties.

Sales within the flower industry, where same-day, local deliveries are common, shot up early through the pandemic. So did the worth of doing business, with rising fuel costs, a flower shortage and provide chain problems.

The elevated prices put pressure on longtime florists like Mr. Patrikis, whose shop was one in all five on his block around 2010. Ditmars Flower Shop is now the last one left.

“We were never busier in our lifetime,” Mr. Patrikis, 37, said about reopening in time for Mother’s Day in 2020 after the earliest closures within the pandemic. “We didn’t sleep for every week.”

Americans spent nearly $73 billion on flowers, seed and potted plants last 12 months, up 48 percent from 2019 after adjusting for inflation, in line with the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

But there are signs of instability within the industry.

Troy Conner, the president of Kendall Farms, a big flower farm in Fallbrook, Calif., that sells to supermarket chains and wholesalers, said that lots of his costs had skyrocketed, too.

Beginning last 12 months, he said, demand for flowers had began to level off. He said he might repurpose some land reserved for growing sunflowers, once a profitable crop, to lift goats as an alternative.

At Ditmars Flower Shop, Mr. Patrikis said, the profit margin has shrunk for the reason that start of the pandemic, from 20 to 30 percent, right down to 10 to twenty percent. The shop might need sales of $150,000 and $300,000 a month.

He said higher sales volume had allowed him to make up the difference thus far. This 12 months, he expects to sell greater than 100,000 red roses, his hottest item, up from 70,000 in 2019. On Valentine’s Day, the busiest holiday, he sells 15,000 roses.

The Society of American Florists, a trade group, predicts that the variety of flower shops within the country will drop to 11,000 by 2026, partly due to retirements and consolidation. There were 11,600 in 2021.

In last 12 months’s third quarter, there have been 398 florists in New York City, down from 432 in the identical period in 2019, in line with James Parrott, a director with the Center for New York City Affairs on the New School.

Mr. Patrikis’s father, John, a Greek immigrant from the island of Nisyros, sold flowers within the subway and eventually opened his first flower shop in Astoria in 1983 before moving to the present 1,500-square-foot shop in 2008.

Mr. Patrikis said he felt obliged to remain within the family business. Sales remain brisk, largely because he has a broad range of clients — weddings, funerals, Greek Orthodox churches. Still, he worries about consumer spending habits, now that almost all pandemic-era government advantages have dried up.

He’s optimistic about his own future, though, because his family bought their constructing in 2003.

“The only ones who’re going to be left are those who own their buildings,” he said.

Ben Casselman contributed reporting.

Produced by Eden Weingart, Andrew Hinderaker and Dagny Salas. Development by Gabriel Gianordoli and Aliza Aufrichtig.

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