Price of love

Love is in the air and people are breathing it in at floral shops, chocolate factories, jewelry stores and soda fountains.
Marie Havenga
Feb 14, 2014


Merchants may exhale a sigh of relief knowing that consumers are expected to spend $17.3 billion on Valentine's Day-related items this year, up 12 percent from 2013, according to the National Retail Federation.

Close to 40 percent of Americans will give flowers — and Skeeter Parkhouse, manager of the Eastern Floral shop in Grand Haven, is ready for them.

“We have around 1,500 long-stem roses in assorted colors, mainly red,” he said over the sound of stems being snipped.

That’s about 10 times the number of roses the store sells in an ordinary week.

To keep up with demand, Parkhouse is storing arrangements in a 53-foot-long temperature-controlled semi-trailer behind the store. He hired extra drivers to keep up with the scheduled 400-plus deliveries this week.

“This is our No. 1 (holiday) and it’s all within a week period,” Parkhouse said. “That’s why we have to get really organized ahead of time.”

While Parkhouse and his staff pre-plan, apparently many male jewelry shoppers do not, according to John Morgan, owner of J. Morgan Ltd. Fine Jewelers in downtown Grand Haven.

“Usually, us guys don’t like to shop until the day of, if we can help it,” he said. “I don’t see women spending anything. Frankly, the girls have it figured out. Valentine’s is a day for them, not for the guys — but the guys always wait until the last minute.”

A typical male Valentine's Day shopper, according to Morgan:

“They come trudging into the store with their heads hanging down, with this hang-dog look about them,” he said. “They’ll hand you their wallet and hope it’s over quickly. It’s much more a demographic that needs advice and support. The females come in with lots of ideas and would be happy to shop for several hours. It’s comical to watch.”

Morgan said he steers reluctant romantics to popular items such as diamond pendants and earrings, heart charms and pendants, and selections with garnet, ruby and amethyst stones.

To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.



Save the money or feed the hungry you might have spent on baubles or expensive dinners. Remeber it's not the things you do on Valentines Day that matter, it's the Valentines Day things you do all year through!



Hand made card, and a home cooked meal is what I am doing tonight.

Might take her out to eat somewhere on Sunday, but i dont get caught up in the whole needless consumption thing our society unfortunately embraces (and luckily, she is not too caught up in it either).

Former Grandhavenite

That's the way to do it. Women seem to love handmade cards in general. The home cooking was a hit with the ladies when I was in college, especially since almost no college-aged guys have the skill or desire to make anything much more involved than a hot pocket, so they're not expecting it if you make something good. A girl and I were basically competing to make progressively more awesome food for each other for awhile.

If a girl says not to get her anything for Valentine's Day in my experience, that generally means she's hoping that you WILL get her something. Maybe the ladies can explain that one. The ones who completely forget that Valentine's Day is coming up and want to swing by Taco Bell for a romantic dinner on the way back from the ski hill or bike path are the keepers in my book.

deuce liti

It's sad that people doing something out of compulsion is considered romantic.

"Oh. Flowers? On Valentines day? I never saw it coming. How romantic."

I'm glad you need one day of year to express romance out of compulsion.




Hiccup Zing!


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