The coolers at Capitol’s Rosemont Gardens in Montgomery are packed full of beautiful, fresh blooms, including nearly 3,000 red roses.
“Valentine’s Day is definitely a rose holiday,” says Manager Jerry Thrash. “We always run out of red roses.”
While Valentine’s Day is the third largest annual holiday for Rosemont Gardens, behind Mother’s Day and Christmas, respectively, it is arguably the busiest one-day event of the year for the Montgomery florist.
“It’s a big holiday for us because it’s crammed into one day. Other holidays stretch over a week, but Valentine’s Day is specifically one day. It’s very strenuous, but it’s also a very big money-maker for us,” added Thrash.
“Women love getting flowers at work, and men love sending their wives or girlfriends flowers at work. That’s also why it’s busier for us when Valentine’s Day is on a weekday,” explained Thrash.
While Rosemont Gardens and other local florists report they’re busier than ever for Valentine’s Day, that may not prove true for retailers across the board. According to a survey by the National Retail Federation, year-over-year spending for the love-filled holiday is expected to decrease for the first time in more than a decade.
U.S. consumers are expected to spend an average $136.57, down from last year’s record-high $146.84. Total spending is expected to reach $18.2 billion, down from $19.7 billion last year, which was also a record.
Starting at an average $119.67 for a total of $16.9 billion in 2007, Valentine’s spending grew most years over the past decade before hitting last year’s record. But the number of people surveyed who plan to celebrate the holiday has dropped by nearly 10 percentage points over the same period from 63 percent in 2007 to 54 percent this year.
“Alabama is on the heels of a strong holiday buying season, the highest on record for the state. People throughout the country are expected to be more frugal when it comes to what they spend on Valentine’s Day. If this holds true in Alabama, we don’t feel this means people here feel less confident about their spending power; they’re simply just choosing less expensive ways to show their loved ones they care,” said Alabama Retail Association President Rick Brown.
Other popular Valentine’s Day gifts, besides flowers are candy, stuffed animals and balloons. “Gifts of experience” are also high on shopping lists, like dinner and a movie or concert tickets.
Back at Rosemont Gardens, Thrash says the heartfelt holiday has always been one of his favorites.
“We have a lot of walk-in customers on these holidays that we don’t normally have. It’s always fun to see the guys picking out flowers for the first time,” he added.
“When you get flowers from Rosemont, you know they’re from Rosemont. That’s what we’re known for.”
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The Alabama Retail Association represents retailers, the largest private employer in the state of Alabama, before the Alabama Legislature and the U.S. Congress. Through sales of food, clothing, furniture, medicine and more, our 4,200 independent merchant and national company members touch almost every aspect of daily living. Since 1943, we’ve worked to promote what’s best for the retail industry in Alabama. Whether voicing the retail view when public policy is made, educating members about issues that impact them, negotiating rates for benefits and services or communicating the retail story, the Alabama Retail Association and its members are better together!