Retailers busy on Valentine’s Day

Published 10:55 am Saturday, February 12, 2011

Joellen Weston, a florist at Farm Fresh, arranges a $100 special order of white and red tulips called in from Los Angeles for a Franklin resident.

By Emily R. Collins/Contributing Writer

FRANKLIN—Local Retailers say they are getting a lot more love this Valentine’s Day than they did last year.

Joellen Weston, who works in the Farm Fresh flower department, said she has been very busy leading up to Monday’s holiday after a “quiet” Valentine’s Day last year.

“More people are out buying,” she said. “It’s a good sign for Franklin.”

As of Friday, Weston had about 40 orders to be completed for Valentine’s Day, and she expected more.

This year, Americans will spend $15.7 billion on merchandise for the romantic day, according to the National Retail Foundation.

On average, each person will spend $116.21 for his or her sweetheart, a 12.8 percent increase from last year’s average of $103, according to the Retail Foundation.

Kathy Cobb, owner of Hardy’s Florist in Windsor, said she has also had an influx of business.

“I think people are maybe a little bit comfortable this year,” she said.

Both Cobb and Weston said Valentine’s Day is the busiest time of year for them.

The majority of the florists’ orders come from men, but Cobb said she has a few requests from women for arrangements. Weston said she has an order from a mother to her son.

Whether its one, two or a dozen, most of the orders are for roses, Weston said.

“The roses are the most popular item,” Cobb said. “Roses say ‘I love you.’”

Aside from fresh flowers, Belk department store Manager Tonya Faison said the most popular items for cupid’s day are fragrances, jewelry and intimates.

“Fragrances are always big because (men) know that’s something the woman likes,” she said.

There is a section in Belk dedicated to Valentine’s Day, featuring jewelry and candy, located near the fragrance department.

Faison said Belk sales associates could make suggestions for shoppers who are on the fence about what gift to get.

Faison said the traffic in her store is picking up, but she expected most people would shop Saturday and today.

For the florists, Monday will be a hectic day.

“Monday should be fairly crazy,” Cobb said.

Cobb and Weston said they would have plenty of pre-made arrangements ready for people who want to grab and go.

Cobb has close friends and family come in and help her with the holiday rush, she said.

Weston said, “You won’t see me on Monday. I’ll be covered (in arrangements).”