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"We're scrambling": St. Louis small businesses report supply shortages this Valentine's Day

Local shops like Stems By Stacy and Crown Candy are hoping to get their needed supplies in time for the day of love.

ST. LOUIS — Seven days to go before Valentine's Day,  and sales are ramping up at a High Ridge floral shop, Stems By Stacy.

"We've got about 50 [orders] in right now. We will probably do 200 to 300 deliveries. It just kind of depends from year to year," owner Stacy Overlander said. 

Overlander and her team are preparing for what's typically the busiest time of the year, but they're finding some stock is just out of their control.

"There are a few things that we are not able to get," Overlander said. "Baskets have been very difficult to find, and if you can find them, they're about double the price right now. Vases have been difficult. Foam has been difficult to get."

Plus, she's still waiting on one of the most iconic Valentine's Day gifts: red roses.

The National Retail Federation estimates more than half of Americans will celebrate Valentine's Day this year, spending $175 on average.

They estimate this will total up to about $23.9 billion this year, the second-highest year on record. 

They say the top gift is candy, but at St. Louis staple Crown Candy, they say they're still waiting for some key shipments.

"We just had a lot of different issues," owner Andy Karandzieff said, motioning to the heart-shaped chocolate boxes over his shoulder that costs about three times as much as the ones he ordered in November that are still delayed. "My normal distributor is way behind on getting heart boxes out, so we're scrambling there."

Their biggest seller, Karandzieff says, are chocolate-covered strawberries, but his own order -- of up to a hundred pallets of strawberries -- is stalled hundreds of miles away.

"I call my guy down on produce row every day. He tells me that they are in Texas, and they're waiting for a truck to come to pick them up and bring them up to us," he said.

Karandzieff says this Valentine's Day flexibility is key.

"It's a very fluid situation for us all right now. We'll make it work. It's just the great unknown," he said.

And Overlander's biggest piece of advice, if you're still planning your present, is on the sign in front of her store which reads "order your flowers today."

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