February 14, 2009

Valentine’s retailers feeling less love

Business owners who cater to Valentine's Day shoppers say sales of flowers, jewelry, chocolates and greeting cards are down with the recession.

Shop owners say they are feeling a little less love this Valentine's Day, the (St. Paul, Minn.) Pioneer Press reported Saturday.

It's always been the general assumption that good times, bad times, chocolate can endure, Brian McElrath, founder and president of B.T. McElrath, a Minneapolis specialty chocolatier, told the newspaper, saying sales are down about 20 percent compared to last year. People are trading down. Some of my sales of my truffle boxes are down.

Sales at A. Johnson & Sons florists in St. Paul also down about 20 percent because of the recession, said Tom Johnson, owner of A. Johnson & Sons florists in St. Paul, while Dan Frailich, owner of St. Paul Jewelers, said he expects to sell fewer engagement rings but possibly more less-expensive items.

Less of the big-ticket items, and more of the smaller gifts, he told the Pioneer Press.