RI businesses prepare for a busy Easter weekend after slow 2020


EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The National Retail Federation is predicting this Easter may be the highest for spending on gifts, candy and food on record.

One year ago, then-Gov. Gina Raimondo issued a stay-at-home order for Rhode Islanders, forcing big changes to many people’s holiday plans.

Local businesses, like Wright’s Dairy Farm, tell 12 News they are seeing a hop in sales ahead of this weekend, with the North Smithfield farm and bakery unable to accept any more orders.

Sales Manager Rena Tympanick said they’ve reached max capacity with hundreds of orders to complete.

“We are in the full swing hustle and bustle. The day before Easter is always one of the busiest days of the year here,” Tympanick said. “We really try to hire to prepare for these days specifically.”

She said this year is completely different than last year.

“We were just trying to figure it out, just trying to do our very best, serve everybody the best we could,” Tympanick said.

Gilmore’s Flower Shop Owner Mitchell Check agrees. He said business was tough for the first few months of the pandemic.

“Last year was very bad, it was way off,” Check said. “We were pretty much closed with just a little curb side pickup, but this year is better, probably equal to 2019.”

The East Providence shop has everyone hard at work finishing hundreds of floral arrangements. Check said Easter lilies, hydrangeas and tulips have been big sellers this year.

“It has certainly picked up, because people are sending flowers to people, because they can’t see them,” he said. “We’re just looking forward to things getting back to normal.”

Both Tympanick and Check tell 12 News the fact that more and more people are getting vaccinated is also increasing business.

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