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Merchants prepared for last-minute Valentine’s

By CHRISTOPHER SMITH

This week, local flower shops and gift stores have been hard at work trying to prepare for Valentine’s Day.

Local florist Alan Cotton said more than 40 percent of people will be shopping last minute.

“We know that a lot of customers will forget it’s Valentine’s Day and will come in wanting things done the day of,” Cotton said, “that is why we encourage people to order early so we can have everything ready for them.”

Cotton said that throughout the years, red roses have always been the number one seller, but they have incorporated a mixture of red roses and different flowers that will hopefully be a big hit.

“We also have potted tulips that are very popular around this time, for as low as $25!” Cotton said.

The Andalusia Flower Shop also has tried to incorporate more mixtures of red roses that owner Susan Sowell hopes will sell well.

“We have always known that red roses were the best seller, we just try to mix it up a little bit so the customers can have more of a variety,” Sowell said.

The Andalusia Flower Shop has arrangements for as low as $55.

According to a survey done by USA Today, The biggest chunk of Valentine’s Day cash will be spent on jewelry. Nearly 20 percent of gift-givers plan to give jewelry, bringing total estimated spending for this category to $4.7 billion, according to this survey. Over one-third of those spending money on the holiday will pay for an evening out, which is expected to total $3.7 billion.

And if red roses are the flower language of love, steak must be the food language. C.J.’s Grille, Big Mike’s and Ofelia’s are each planning Valentine’s specials that feature a ribeye or prime rib.

For those looking for smaller gifts, there are many options.

Daphne Hardage of Lena Ellen Boutique said that their most popular item during Valentine’s Day is jewelry.

“We usually sell a mix of gift cards and jewelry, but we have a huge selection of Sorelli jewelry that will make any woman happy!” Hardage said.

Meredith’s Miracles Valentine Shop has several gifts including $10 teacher gift baskets.

“We have had to fill up the display for the teacher gifts three times because we keep selling out of them,” Meredith’s Miracles fundraiser coordinator Kiley Spears said. “We can also build a basket and put whatever you would like in them!”

For the a different twist, Pink Peppers has cookies, Valentine’s flags, gift cards and a full selection of stuffed animals.

“We have something for everybody,” Angel Carter of Pink Peppers said. “We can also wrap your gifts for you!”