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Business is ‘blooming’ for Valentine’s

When it comes to love it’s recession proof. At least that’s what florists are seeing as they report rosy Valentine’s Day sales this year.

Customers, it seems, would rather break the bank than break hearts as they fork out up to $200 for a dozen red roses.

Florists said it’s been a slow start to Valentine’s, but business was ‘blooming’ yesterday and they expected crowds of mostly men today stopping in for last-minute flowers and gifts for their sweethearts.

Flower shop owners we spoke to said they would be open from early morning until past 5pm today or until they sell every last flower.

“It’s busy!” said Flowers by Gimi partner Gary Saltus. “The roses and lilies are a big hit this year. We sold more mixed arrangements last year. But, this year, when it comes to Valentine’s Day, people want roses. There’s no cutting down.”

Mr Saltus said one customer had just bought five dozen roses for his sweetheart, in one swoop.

A dozen roses arrangement at Gimi costs around $195, a single rose is $15.

Gimi, which will be open 8.30am to 5.30pm today, also has a line of scented candles and balloons to go with flowers. And Mr Saltus said they will be giving away champagne samples with purchases.

Carmen Phillips, an owner of Demco, said it had been slow going but yesterday “really picked up”.

She said a special hydrangea and orchid arrangement they created for $70 was “flying out the store”.

“Guys are learning it doesn’t always have to be about a big splash of roses,” she said. “But still, we have the diehard traditionalists that want nothing else but roses.”

A dozen roses cost about $165 at Demco in Devonshire.

“We thought the recession would hit sales this year, but today is busy,” she said.

Ms Phillips said Demco would have plenty of roses and other flowers in stock today so last-minute buyers were welcome. They will be open from 8.30am “until”, she said.

She added, Demco also stocks speciality truffles, Valentine’s teddy bears, home decor and novelty gifts such as heart-shaped salad servers, as an alternative to flowers.

Petals was also doing brisk business and said they would be accepting delivery orders today.

“Sales are great,” designer Marguerite Clark said. “Vases and hand-tied bouquets of red roses, along with mixed hand tied bouquets of spring flowers are very popular this year.”

She said she had noticed customers were more interested in options this year and wanted to work within their budget.

“But they still want to send flowers, which is fabulous,” she said.

A dozen red roses wrapped is $140 at Petals and $160 in a vase.

Token of love: Gimi Flowers owner Gary Saltus with some of the roses that are selling well (Photo by Akil Simmons)

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Published February 14, 2012 at 1:00 am (Updated February 14, 2012 at 6:18 am)

Business is ‘blooming’ for Valentine’s

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