Cupids keep on shopping

Published 10:00 pm Friday, February 13, 2009

Love has no awareness of a recession, at least when it comes to Valentine’s Day.

According to local business owners, local Cupids this year have been spending as much, if not more in some cases, as they did in 2008.

Wright Drugs and Gift Shop manager Debbie Burch said has business has been good for Valentine’s Day. A big seller has been gift baskets, especially those for kids.

“We’ve been selling lots of kids baskets for their parents to take to them at school,” Burch said yesterday. “It’s been mostly parents so far this week, but tomorrow, it’s going to be mostly husbands. They always wait until the last minute.”

Burch said she has been selling a wide variety of items, including goodie baskets for the kids and cologne and jewelry for the adults.

The jewelry business has also been busy this year. Stacy Watson of Edwards Jewelry said Valentine’s Day is becoming a much bigger holiday.

“It’s beginning to be about as busy as Mother’s Day,” he said.

Though Edwards sells many engagement rings this time of year, Watson has sold more Pandora bracelets and charms this year. The range of ages of customers varies from husbands buying for their wives to boys buying for their girlfriends.

Edwards said he also believes the recession is making people shop closer to home.

“I don’t think people are wanting spend all the extra gas going to a store out of town,” Watson said. “They are staying closer to home and shopping a local businesses. The local ‘mom and pop’ businesses can actually meet or beat department stores because (local stores) don’t have as much overhead as big stores do.”

The traditional Valentine’s flower, the rose, is still in high demand, but Becky Patterson, owner of Pinedale Gardens, has seen more customers adding other items to their orders.

“We’ve seen some customers spend as much as $200 on just one order,” Patterson said. “In addition to the roses, they will send balloons, bears, candy and other items.”

Patterson also said the Valentine’s Day buying has been more spread out. With it falling on Saturday, she said she expected to have busy days yesterday and today.

“Even with as bad as the economy is, you still have to buy something for your Valentine,” Burch said.