PARKERSBURG - When it comes to Valentine's Day there is a surge in the sale of jewelry of the diamond variety and flowers, local merchants report.
However, they say there are others gift ideas out there to help make Valentine's Day 2014 the most memorable.
Dick Buttermore, owner of Buttermore Jewelers, said jewelers have a large variety of gifts for their customers on Valentine's Day.
Photo by Jeffrey Saulton
Robin Scott, left, and Bill Rader, right, work on an arrangement of roses for Valentine’s Day at Dudley’s Florists in Parkersburg.
"We have a wide range of price points," he said. "We have engagement rings with diamonds and we have the less expensive Troll Beads."
Buttermore said they also sell the new line of costume jewelry by Mariana in many different colors. He said the costume jewelry has improved in looks and quality.
"Many times ladies will pick necklaces and bracelets in colors to match their clothes," he said. "The ones in black and brown are also popular now."
Buttermore said like Christmas, Valentine's Day has many last-minute shoppers. He said while Valentine's Day is not as big as Christmas in sales, it can be a very busy time.
Buttermore said he prefers to deal with diamonds while his wife, Cathy, works with other jewelry.
Jean Ford, owner of Mel's Diamond House in Vienna, said sales for gifts for Valentine's Day have been very good. She said diamonds tend to sell in the days leading to Feb. 14.
"This is an especially good time since a lot of couples get engaged on Valentine's Day," she said.
Ford said another big seller for the season are the roses dipped in 24-karat gold and they sell for a variety of prices from less than $100 to $300 or more.
One item the store has as an exclusive is the Rhythm of Love, where the diamond in the earrings and pendants keep moving as long as they are worn.
"They have done very well for us," she said.
Flowers are always a strong seller, two local florists report.
Doug Hall, owner of Dudley's Florists in Parkersburg, said Valentine's Day has always been a flower holiday, surpassing Mother's Day.
"They (other merchants) sell all kinds of things, diamonds and chocolates but flowers are always the top item," he said. "When you go back 40 years it has always been geared toward the flowers."
Hall said roses are far and away the biggest seller.
"Half of what we sell is roses," he said. "It may be a couple of roses arranged or half a dozen, one dozen or two dozen. We have orders for up to two dozen. One or two dozen arranged is the most popular item."
After that Hall said there are a variety of arrangements made by TeleFloral and FTD along with a number of custom vases for the arrangements making them Keepsake arrangements.
Hall said the change he has seen is what people want in arrangements.
"In the past the norm was for a mixed flower arrangement," he said. "People want more upscale arrangements, they want more bling with roses, lilies and other flowers."
Hall said preparing for the big flower holidays takes about two months of planning and eight to 10 days of seemingly non-stop work.
"There are a lot of logistics involved to help everyone get orders filled."
Linda Brownfield, co-owner of Obermeyer's Florists, agreed roses are the big item in flowers for Valentine's Day
"Roses, roses and more roses," she said.
Michael McKibben, the head arranger, said there are other choices that sell during the season.
"Romantic gardeny bouquets are big," he said. "It has trended into more of a garden look over the last few years, but roses are still the mainstay of the holiday."
Brownfield said roses are the flower on most minds when the 14th day of February rolls around.
"Some men do not realize there are other flowers available," she said. "For some, it's the only flower name they know."
Brownfield said today will be the big delivery day for two reasons, weather and the surprise element.
"We are encouraging more delivery today because we don't know how the storm on Friday will affect us," she said. "We encourage early delivery so they will have them.
"We encourage delivery of Thursday for the element of surprise because they expect the gift on the day, not the day before."
Brownfiled said in the flower business Valentine's Day is more like a two-day event.
"Usually it's the 13th and 14th are busiest and the 14th is the heaviest," she said. "Some people forget it until they see others receiving them."
Brownfield said the store will fill orders for the day after for those who forget.
For many the gifts are given either before or after a dinner out.
Jimmy Colombo, owner of Jimmie Colombo's Restaurant, said Valentine's Day is one of the two biggest days in the restaurant business.
"Mother's Day is the second largest, but usually that's when we have six or more at the table," he said. "On Valentine's it's two or three; some men may take out their mothers and wives," he said. "Many times it may just be two at the table."
Colombo said Valentine's night is a good night for the restaurant business.
"We have a good flow (of customers) that night; it's good and brisk, " he said. "It's our first big night of the year."
Because Valentine's Day is on Friday this year, Colombo said that will give more people more time to get out for the evening.
"What makes this year more special is that it's a Valentine's weekend and with this weather people are wanting to get out and go somewhere other than the grocery store," Colombo said.
Valentine's is also a night when some customers may be willing to spend a little more than usual, he said.