Roses are red and violets are blue, but this Valentine’s Day has some retailers seeing green.
Americans are projected to spend an estimated $19.6 billion on gifts for loved ones this year, up from $18.2 billion last year, according to the National Retail Federation, the world’s largest retail trade group.
Over at Brunswick Floral on Ross Street near Palmetto Cemetery, shop owner Gail Sapp was busy Tuesday filling the 90 orders that came in that day alone.
“We’ve been making arrangements, and we’ve been delivering yesterday, today and tomorrow,” she said as she put together a bouquet of red roses. “We’re just trying to keep our heads above water.”
Sapp arrived at her shop at about 6:30 a.m. Tuesday after having left there at midnight the evening before. A cadre of floral artists, armed with buckets of roses and lilies swirled around large tables as they chatted and made jokes. Despite the heavy workload, spirits seemed high as three generations of Sapp’s family worked.
“This April will be 100 years of serving Glynn County,” Sapp said of Brunswick Floral’s upcoming centennial anniversary.
“You look great for 100,” quipped Ben Bach, Sapp’s son who was working nearby and overheard the comment.
It was all hands on deck as the crew arranged bouquet after bouquet, but no one seemed to mind. After all, the average Valentine’s Day arrangement at Brunswick Floral runs between $75 and $100. That might sound expensive, but compared to the national data, it’s a steal.
The average American is expected to spend $143.56 on loved ones today, according to the National Retail Federation. Most of that — about $89 — is spent on sweethearts or spouses, followed by other family members, like kids, at about $25. The remainder is spent relatively evenly on children’s classmates, teachers, co-workers, friends and, yes, pets.
The lonely hearts’ club won’t be left out either. About 27 percent of Americans who won’t observe the holiday still have alternatives in mind, like treating themselves or getting together with family and friends.
For those opting to buy gifts, brick-and-mortar stores are still the most popular option for shopping, the National Retail Federation survey found. Only about 29 percent of Valentine’s Day buying is done online. Sweet treats are the most common item people choose to give, with 55 percent of survey respondents saying that was their plan. Greeting cards came in second at 46 percent, followed by flowers at 36 percent.
For all that giving, data shows the average person might not get what they want. “Gifts of experience” — like concert or sporting event tickets — are the apple of 42 percent of consumers’ eyes, but only about 24 percent of givers said they planned to give them. Millennials, people age 25 to 34, were the most likely to give gifts of experience at 41 percent.
Regardless of who gives what, Valentine’s Day is big business not only locally, but across America. Still, in Sapp’s experience, it’s not the busiest day of the year for Brunswick Floral.
“I’d have to say that’s Mother’s Day. You have to think about it this way: Everybody has a mother, but not everybody has a lover,” she said with a laugh.
After a long week of arranging bouquets and serving customers, Sapp will have plenty of time to recover and prepare for Mother’s Day. It’s still 12 and a half weeks away on May 13 this year.