Economy Forces Businesses to Get Creative for Valentines Day

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Valentine's day ranks third when it comes to shoppers spending money -just after Christmas and back to school shopping. That means area businesses rely on this holiday to keep them in the black.

But, in a tough economy some businesses must get creative to lure customers and their wallets.

A report by the National Retail Federation shows that couples plan to spend less on each other this year, but more on friends, co-workers and their pets.
The federation's survey finds that couples are forecast to spend an average of $63.34 on gifts for their spouse or significant other this year versus the $67.22 they spent last year.

"People are putting a lot more thought into what they're buying so they go out a little sooner. They see what's out there and then make a more educated decision on what they're buying. As far as what they're buying, people aren't that's been a huge change too. As far as the practicality, and the meaning behind a gift. People aren't buying just anything. They want it to mean something," said Sara Boyer with Four Star Drug Stores.

Some owners say business is booming for Valentine's Day.

"Very lucky in that aspect. We haven't really seen a decline with that. Valentine's day is probably our number one busiest holiday. We have about two or three days that it's just running around like crazy in here and getting stuff done. We've never really seen an effect of the economy with our business," said Molly Kircher, owner of Eileen's Colossal Cookies.

Meanwhile others say they are catering to consumers who have less pocket money.

"We are offering a wide variety to fit all budget this year. We even have some gift baskets that we have put together that make it easier for people to come in and make those decisions, those choices much easier. We're also working with other businesses this year. You'll see a lot of businesses that are co-combining their advertising dollars," said Stacy Combs, owner of Petal Creations.

In the end, these retailers say it's not the amount of money you spend, but the thought behind the gift.

"We need to take time to tell people that they are important in our lives. Valentine's day is not just for people in love. Valentine's day is a day to show people that you do love them, whether it's your mom, your sister, your neighbor. You know, the world could use a little more love."