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The Easter Bunny may be in danger of being replaced by the Easter Chicken this year, at least in Simpsonville.
“It’s just amazing how quickly we’re selling our baby chicks,” said Gary Metzger.
Metzger’s Country Store on U.S. 60 gets a shipment of baby chickens in each week in the spring, and he said they are sold as fast as they arrive.
“They are very popular, both as pets and for their eggs,” he said. “It’s amazing how many people have chickens now. I live in Middletown, and you can look outside all the time and see chickens. They have really taken off.”
More traditional Easter items also are selling well this year, including the always-popular candy, Kroger manager Denny Simonavice said.
“Candy has been selling incredibly well; we were just talking about that,” he said Wednesday.
Simonavice said people are not neglecting their Easter dinners, either, and have been coming in buying lots of hams.
“Our spiral ham and our honey-baked ham, these are selling very well for Easter,” he said.
Walmart Manager Jeff Craig said he has not noticed a lot of people buying prepackaged Easter baskets, but he said he thinks more people may be creating their own this year, judging by the amount of candy the store is selling.
“We are selling just a ton of candy and stuffed animals,” he said. “Makes me wonder what is going to happen when the weather breaks; maybe it will get people even more in the Easter mood.”
Lori Glass, owner of Pathelen Flower and Gift Shop, said Easter baskets are not just for kids.
“I’m working on one right now that is going out to an elderly lady. Adults like them as much as kids do,” she said with a chuckle.
Glass reminisced how the floral business has changed over the years at Eastertime.
“I remember when we would spend all day and sometimes into the night on Friday making up corsages for people to wear to church; they would usually come in an Saturday and pick them up,” she said. “But we don’t do very many of those at all anymore.”
Glass said the trend in Easter flowers has shifted in the floral industry over the past few years from lilies to other kinds of flowers.
“People have been wanting arrangements of spring flowers, something with more color,” she said.
“As for lilies, they are still popular, but places like Kroger and Lowe’s can sell them a lot more inexpensively than we can.”
Jason Shaw, manager at Lowe’s on Taylorsville Road, said the store has a huge selection of lilies and tulips, as well as some other varieties.
Sharon Nichols, owner of Flowers by Sharon, agreed that the popularity of lilies has been declining in recent years in some circles.
“We used to sell a lot of them to churches, but they just don’t do as much with them anymore,” she said. “I think it could be the economy. People just think of flowers as something you can do without. But we do still sell an awful lot of our arrangements in the thirty-five-to-fifty-dollar range at this time of year. We deliver, and we take a lot of Easter arrangements to nursing homes, because people want their loved ones to know they are thinking about them at Easter.”
Nichols said people may not be aware when they call a 1-800 number to send flowers that they may not be getting the best value – or the best quality – for their money.
“It’s so much better to deal with somebody local than to call those numbers,” she said. “Those people are not florists; they are just answering the phone and locating the nearest available florists. They don’t care if the pink tulips look better than the white ones. There are two florists in Shelbyville, us and Pathelen, and Lori [Glass] and I are able to help people out with what they need much better because they can explain to us exactly what they want.”
That scenario even transcends holiday flower giving, she said.
“Say for example, if somebody sends a box of flowers to a funeral home by Fed-Ex; what is the funeral home going to do? They’ll call us. They’re not going to arrange them. That personal touch is so important.”