As Valentine’s Day approaches, certain businesses in Pictou County see their patronage jump in anticipation of the yearly celebration of love. Florists and jewellers, in particular, see marked spikes.
One of the most classic and emblematic of Valentine’s Day gifts is the bouquet of roses. That, of course, is something florists have been getting a lot of requests for.
“People are picking up a lot of roses, bouquets, candy and balloons,” said Zelda Crossman, owner of Zelda’s Flower Studio, who noted there is definitely an increase in activity at her shop. “A lot of the people coming in like red, white and pink, since that’s very Valentine’s-y.”
Crossman said the most dramatic increase in customers visiting her shop occurs during the last two days before Valentine’s, while people more sporadically visit the shop for Valentine’s gifts, when there is more time to spare in January and earlier in February.
“They’ve been ordering flowers pretty steadily, but they tend to procrastinate a little,” said Crossman.
Suzanne McKean-Makin, co-owner of McKean’s Flowers said she also has seen roses are a popular gift, and are often featured in bouquets for Valentine’s Day.
“It’s a bit of traditional Valentine’s Day gift, and many people still go for it. But we do a lot of other small bouquets as well,” said McKean-Makin. “We do additional things with flowers – chocolates, balloons and jewelry are all very popular at this time of year.”
McKean-Makin said one trend she has noticed in business as Valentine’s Day approaches is that people shopping at McKean’s aren’t always shopping for gifts that specifically celebrate romantic love.
“People assume it’s couples, and couple-love, and although that’s very prevalent, it’s not all just that. We see a lot of people sending gifts to their parents; people sending gifts to their grandchildren and cute little things like that,” said McKean-Makin. “It’s not always a dozen roses for your wife. It’s a positive holiday, it’s about life – what’s better to celebrate than that?”
Businesses that specialize in jewelry also see a spike in activity as Feb. 14 approaches.
“We see a variety of interest in our products; some people like heart-shaped jewelry, but there’s no real particular trends,” said Paula Reid, manager of New Glasgow’s Inglis Jewelers store.
When asked when the spike for Valentine’s Day begins, Reid says it varies, and while some are buying gifts early, the last two days before the date are by far the busiest days of the Valentine’s season.
Catherine Lochead, manager of Charm Jewelers, has observed a similar pattern as Reid: “You have some people way ahead of the game, and then you’ve got some people on the way home from work the night of, showing up to get what they need.
Lochead noted the last week going into Valentine’s Day is also busy, and that for her, the Valentine’s season began when she sold her first Valentine’s gift in early January.
“There’s definitely a surge in demand for jewelry,” said Lochead, describing how business goes. “Hearts are always big for Valentine’s Day, and so are diamonds. Some like earrings, and some go for pendants and items such as the Chamilia bracelet.”