Preparation Begins at Floral Shops Before Valentine's Day

By Nadia Crow, Reporter

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa- Cupid's arrow might miss the mark this Valentine's Day. The National Retail Federation only expects a slight increase in sales this year compared to the last. The survey reports only about $4 more in spending per American. Thursday spending will peak $18.6 billion.

Pat Hines, co-owner of Peck's Flower and Garden shop said red roses are always the big seller around Valentine's Day.

It's a staple, a sign of the most romantic day of the year. A National Retail Federation survey said a third of shoppers will buy flowers.

"Mostly men, but we do sell a lot to women. We do sell plants and a lot of things to guys," Hines said.

Big sellers at this time of year are things that say 'I love you,' like teddy bears, cards, and candy. And with hundreds of orders on the way, Pierson's Flower Shop co-owner Al Pierson said they'll triple sales and triple the staff working on Thursday.

"It requires months of preparation and we've been working on bouquets of flowers here since the middle of last week," Pierson said.

The NRF doesn't expect people to spend much more this year than they did last year. The economy still steers cupid's arrow.

"People shop around quite a little bit, especially if they're looking for a specific thing, but I think they're being a little cautious and going that way," said Hines.

People are showing caution but still cooing. With the holiday falling on a Thursday, floral shops expect the biggest season in recent years.

"We have hundreds of orders already we started the morning with 20 orders waiting for us on the computer, so people do plan ahead but it's traditionally a last minute holiday," Pierson said.

More than a quarter of shoppers will buy their gifts online this year, according to the NRF. Men are expected to spend more than their counterparts, almost twice as much. Click here to read more about this year's spending expectations.
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