The Edmond Sun

February 16, 2013

Food, flowers, finery top Valentine's gift lists

Patty Miller
The Edmond Sun

EDMOND — In 2013, Valentine’s Day is estimated to contribute about $18.6 billion to the economy, according to the National Retail Federation’s website.

This is still higher than the $17.6 billion spent on Valentine’s Day 2012 and the highest since the NRF began surveying shoppers 10 years ago. However, this is just a 5.7 percent increase, lower than the 8.6 percent increase in spending between 2011-2012.

People surveyed by NRF said they would spend more in 2013, on average $130.97 each, compared to $126.03 last year.  

According to NRF, a mix of traditional and non-traditional Valentine’s Day gifts were popular this year. More than half (51 percent) of gift givers bought candy, spending $1.6 billion in total, and another one-third (36.6 percent) gave flowers, with total spending expected to top $1.9 billion.

Others treated their special someone to jewelry (19.7 percent), spending more than $4.4 billion on diamonds, gold and silver. An additional 15.6 percent bought clothing, spending more than $1.6 billion. Gift cards also were on the top of shoppers’ lists; 15 percent of gift givers bought gift cards for their loved ones, totaling up to $1.5 billion.

Whether opting for candy or in Edmond, cookies, flowers or fine jewelry, Valentine’s Day sales were up in Edmond this year, local store owners said.

By 10:30 a.m. Eileen’s Colossal Cookies on North Santa Fe had already sold out of Valentine cookies by the dozen, and workers were busy trying to keep the cookies iced in pink, red and purple on the shelves. The minute a tray was ready the cookies were being bought. Heart cookies were decorated and available in many sizes.

“We sold out of cookies last night,” said employee Rebecca Devine on Thursday, “and we still have orders that were placed earlier to finish filling.”

At A Bloom Above the Rest, there were still a few last-minute purchases being made and carried out, but no more orders were being taken for delivery Thursday.

Owner Erin Pinkston said Valentine sales had been brisk and balloons as well as flowers were being purchased. The store was buzzing Thursday as last-minute orders were being filled. Most orders had been placed earlier by drop-ins, online or by telephone, but last-minute arrangements were still being made and wrapped for carry out purchases.

Pinkston and floral arrangers were up to their elbows making the ever popular long-stemmed red roses into bouquets, but rose orders were being placed for the hotter colors as well such as purples, oranges, yellows and hot pinks. Spring mixes were also being used for Valentine’s arrangements.

Fields Jewelers, recently voted Edmond’s Favorite Jeweler in The Edmond Sun Sunshine Awards poll, probably has done the most business ever, said owner Carole Fields. “We had customers coming in two weeks ago and their purchases in some cases were quite hefty.

“Normally we would have a lot of last-minute buyers coming in Wednesday or even today, but that didn’t happen this year. We had a few customers yesterday, but we haven’t made a Valentine gift sale yet today.”

Fields said she thought Parsons Jewelry owners retiring recently had a part in making this one of the best Valentine’s Day sales in her store’s history.