The cost of love

Marie Havenga • Jul 21, 2015 at 12:12 PM

The scent of sweet nectar hangs like a cirrus cloud in the air.

Billie Jean Cichewicz and her husband, Bill, bought Spring Lake Floral at 209 W. Savidge St. last fall. They're pleased to see sales are coming up roses for their first Valentine's Day at the shop.

Compared to the same period last year, Cichewicz said the floral shop's receipts have blossomed by $900.

Employment has sprouted, too. Cichewicz hired another designer and three additional delivery drivers for the Valentine's Day season.

“We ordered more than 800 roses this year and I'm sure we'll go through all those,” said floral designer Karen Hippensteel. “We may have to get more.”

Spring Lake Floral isn't the only business experiencing a rosy retail climate. Valentine's Day sales nationwide are up 4 percent from last year, according to the National Retail Federation.

The average American will spend $130.97 on candy, cards, flowers and gifts — compared to $126.03 last year — for a whopping total of $18.6 billion. Tack on another average $150 for a romantic dinner out and the business of Valentine's Day may literally leave some consumers in the red.

The NRF predicts $4.4 million will be spent on jewelry this year.

Derek Johnson, a salesman at Grand Haven Jewelry in downtown Grand Haven, said popular items this week include Pandora charms, charm bracelets and birthstone jewelry for women and watches for men.

The jewelry store's owner, Steve Pitcher, said diamond sales continue to sparkle.

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


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