Merchants ready for Valentine’s Day

With just three days left for guys to get something for that special woman in their lives, local businesses are getting ready for the last-minute Valentine’s Day rush.
“There’s a definite spike in business this time of year. Yesterday was just great, for example,” said Dave Brockie of Brockie’s Jewellers.
“At this dreary time of year, if you can’t go away to the Caribbean, people need some kind of pick-me-up,” he added. “Fortunately for me, jewellery seems to do the trick.”
Brockie added diamond stud earrings are a perennial favourite for Valentine’s Day, with heart-shaped pendants coming in second.
As an extra incentive, Brockie’s will give a discount equal to the PST and GST for jewellery and giftware bought there today through Monday.
“It’s always a good idea to buy women jewellery,” Melinda Wickstrom of Mario’s Jewellers agreed this morning.
She noted that while male customers definitely are willing to spend money on gifts for their loved ones at this time of year, they also tend to wait until the last minute, so she expects business to pick up today and tomorrow.
Popular gifts at Mario’s include heart pendants and earrings, as well as birth stone sets, said Wickstrom, adding Mario’s also is having a tax-free sale today and tomorrow.
Brad Hogan of Fort Floral said his store has been taking orders already, but admitted most people who want to send flowers on Valentine’s Day wait until the last minute. So he expects a very busy Monday.
“We start deliveries first thing in the morning and keep going until the end of the day,” he remarked, adding there’s an equal number of people who drop by the store in person and buy flowers on Valentine’s Day or the day before.
Hogan said, without question, the most popular gift people buy at Fort Floral on Valentine’s Day is red roses, although other arrangements with balloons and stuffed animals and such also are popular choices.
Hogan noted Fort Floral will be open this Sunday afternoon in order to be more accommodating to Valentine’s Day gift shoppers.
Meanwhile, Mike Tullio of Nirvana said his spa and salon offers something no other local business can, whether it be hot stone back massages, facials, haircuts and styling, pedicures and manicures, or even a “Chocolate Blitz” body wrap.
“We offer gift certificates that can be specific to the needs of an individual,” he said. “It’s a thoughtful gift. You’re actually thinking about the pleasure you can give another person, their personal pampering.
“To me, that’s the best gift you can give someone,” Tullio remarked, adding it’s not uncommon to see someone come in for some special treatment and walk out buying gift certificates to give to others so they can experience the same thing.
Tullio noted the spa also sells “take-home kits” so a couple can pamper each other during a romantic evening at home.
Nirvana is open today, tomorrow, and Monday.
Patty Svoboda of Gagné Pharmacy noted this morning the store has sold some giftware in the past couple of days, but she expects things to really pick up later today and tomorrow.
The store is fully stocked with cards, candy, chocolates, mugs, candles, and what she expects to be a hot-seller—fragrances for women.
“We have Estée Lauder, Chanel, Clinique, Ralph Lauren, all the top brands. The Celine Dion perfume is very popular,” she remarked, adding that tomorrow, the store will be offering a 10 percent discount on its fragrances.
Store manager Nancy Kehler of Pharmasave also said she has a wide variety of gifts in stock, ranging from candles and Teddy Bears to cards and kids’ Valentines to massage oils, bubble bath, and other items to pamper that special someone.
“And we have chocolates, of course, Chocolates are probably the most popular item, along with fragrances,” she remarked.
Kehler noted the staff also are adept at wrapping up gift baskets for customers—and even will help choose items for them if the customer so chooses.
She added Pharmasave is open from noon-4 p.m. on Sunday, so Valentine Day gift shoppers will have a little extra time before the 14th to choose their gifts there.
And not to forget about dining out, local restaurants such as La Flambée and the dining room at La Place Rendez-Vous are offering special Valentine’s Day menus tonight through Monday.