Cupid’s arrow strikes gold on Valentine’s Day
From sellers of flowers to purveyors of chocolates to restaurateurs, Cupid’s arrow strikes gold for many small businesses on Valentine’s Day.
In the United States, consumers are expected to drop $17.6-billion on Valentine’s Day gifts and activities this year, according to the National Retail Federation, as quoted in this story. According to a survey the NRF carried out, they’ll spend $126.03 apiece, which is up 8.5 per cent over last year and a record for the 10 year the survey has been conducted.
Canadians are no Valentine’s Day spending slouches either. According to this CTV News story, Canadians will drop an average of $126 apiece.
And according to this Valentine’s Day By the Numbers, compiled by Statistics Canada, Canadians spent $1.6-billion on lingerie and other intimate items and $3-billion on jewellery and watches in 2010. They spent $5.8-billion on wine in 2009-2010 and $1.5-billion on chocolate in 2009. 3 That doesn’t taken into account the 12 million roses they purchased in 2010.
ABC News reports that florists are seeing an unprecedented demand for roses this Valentine’s Day. One reason that might be happening: With Valentine’s Day falling mid-week this year, many men are caught by surprise, suggests this story. While on a weekend, they might peruse stores for “cheaper chocolates or stuffed animals,” at mid-week, they go for quick and easy flower deliveries, and are willing to pay a premium.
Anxious to find a unique gift? Huffington Post offers a slide show of items made by “some of America’s most creative entrepreneurs.”
But here’s some food for thought for those in the selling business: This MSNBC story poses the question of whether businesses risk alienating consumers by inflating prices on Valentine’s Day. And one business coach reminds small businesses to share the love with customers all year round.
U.S. small business confidence makes insignificant gain: NFIB
U.S. small business confidence made the slightest of gains in January, but is still sitting at recession levels, according to the latest index of small business optimism from the National Federation of Independent Business.
The index gained 0.1 points to reach a level of 93.9 in January. That was the highest reading since December, 2007, when the recession began, but, even though the index made gains five months in a row, it’s still below where it was a year ago, according to the NFIB.
“Nothing happened last month that would significantly improve the small-business outlook,” said NFIB chief economist William Dunkelberg in a statement. “The index remains below its level a year ago of 94.1, which means that no progress was made in 2011.”
EVENTS AND KEY DATES
Social media smarts
Join our very own Sean Stanleigh as he moderates a panel of socia media experts who will talk about how small businesses can leverage social media platforms and online tools to grow their businesses. The event, called “Accelerating Small Business Growth in our Economic Times,” presented by Bank of Montreal and part of Social Media Week Toronto, takes place in Toronto on Thurs, Feb. 16. For more information, click here.
B.C. small business awards
The ninth annual Small Business BC Successful You Awards night will take place on Feb. 28 in Vancouver. The province-wide contest recognizes and celebrates important contributions of B.C. entrepreneurs. For more details, click here.
EDITOR’S PICKS FROM REPORT ON SMALL BUSINESS
Red-hot dating apps to spice up your love life
Sick of spending Friday nights alone? Eager to get back in the saddle, but turned off by traditional dating sites, like eHarmony, Plenty of Fish and Match.com? Check out our lineup of cutting-edge mobile apps, which use real-time, GPS and push notifications, can help you meet new people, and maybe even score a date for Valentine’s Day
FROM THE ROSB ARCHIVES
Couples share the love in business
In case you missed it last Valentine’s Day, three couples who took the entrepreneurial leap of faith by going into business together shared what they learned from the experience.
Valentine’s Day Business
(ABC 6 News) — Valentine’s Day is considered one of the biggest gift-giving holidays of the year.
In fact, the National Retail Federation says as Americans we’re expected to shell out more than $17 billion on Valentine’s Day stuff this year.
That’s no surprise to local retailers. For many shops, it’s the busiest day of the year.
“Probably 20 times busier than a typical day,” Flowers by Jerry owner Kevin Patton says.
At Flowers by Jerry, it’s not the hundreds of red balloons, candy, or teddy bears that makes it the craziest day of the year, it’s the flowers.
“We had to rent eight delivery vehicles. I probably have about 15 drivers out today,” Patton explains.
That’s what it takes to deliver 600 bouquets. Throw in a few hundred walk ins and last minute orders, and you can see why they need all the help they can get.
“Roses are the number one. The mixed arrangements are number two,” Patton says.
But if flowers aren’t your thing, there’s always chocolate.
“These are long stemmed strawberries. They were picked last night in California and flown in this morning,” White Wolf Creek owner David Christenson says.
It’s just one of many sweet treats you can find at White Wolf Creek, but their specialty is the annual wild game dinner for two.
“Alligator crepes which has alligator, crab and shrimp in it. Then we’ll be doing also a duck crepe this evening. It has a wild rice and duck in a raspberry sauce,” Christenson explains.
Other menu items include wild boar and rainbow trout.
It’s a unique way to show that special someone just how much you care.
“Last year we had a line out the door,” Christenson says.
But White Wolf Creek wasn’t the only shop with a line out its door.
“Today has been extremely busy,” Diane Schaap of Chocolaterie Sam says.
Chocolaterie Sam had a line out the door all morning. Countless shoppers rushed to get that last minute gift.
“Men will run in. They say, “I need a box, put a bow on it. Make it pretty.” Then they’re out of here,” Schaap says.
After everyone bought their flowers and chocolates, the last minute shopping moved to restaurants.
Many feature special meals and decorations to celebrate the holiday.
Florists do brisk business thanks to Valentine’s Day
Florists did roaring business of an estimated Rs.10 crore in Delhi and neighbouring cities on Tuesday with the demand for flowers, particularly roses and carnations, soaring on Valentine’s Day that symbolises affection, love and romance.
It also goes without saying that the day left a deep hole in the pockets of buyers as the price of a single rose was as high as Rs.100 at some places.
“Valentine’s Day (February 14) is a golden day for florists,” All-India Cut Flower and Growers’ Association president Brij Mohan Khanagwal told PTI.
Flowers worth over Rs.10 crore were sold in a single day on Tuesday in Delhi and cities of Lucknow, Jaipur, Jammu and Patiala, he said.
Sher Singh Saini, a wholesaler at Ghazipur, the biggest wholesale flower market in the national Capital, said sales were nearly two times higher on Tuesday as compared to any other day. In fact, this year sales have been picking up for the past one week, he added.
Ferns ‘n’ Petals, with 113 outlets across the country, said sales are almost 10 times more in its outlets today as compared to a normal day. The maximum sales were in Delhi where it has 34 outlets, said an F ‘n’ P official, Tarana. Roses, especially red ones, and carnations registered high sales, she added.
Khanagwal said Delhi receives roses mainly from Bangalore and Pune, while carnations are brought from Himachal Pradesh and Dehra Dun in addition to Bangalore and Pune.
Orchids sourced from Thailand and Bangkok are also in great demand, Saini said.
Traders said a single rose is sold for Rs.10 in wholesale while carnation costs between Rs.10 and 15 apiece. The retail prices ranged from Rs.50 to 100 apiece, they said.
Delhi is Asia’s largest flower market. India’s flower production stands at around 1,000 tonnes per annum and most of the flower trade occur in the Delhi region.
There are a total of about 500 flower sellers in Delhi, said Khanagwal, who owns a flower outlet in Connaught Place. – PTI