Wisconsin News

Valentine's Day shopping brings local retailers a welcome boost

LA CROSSE, Wis. - It's down to the wire for Valentine's Day shoppers.

That also means it's crunch time for retailers.

The National Retail Federation predicts the average shopper will spend about $131 on Valentine's Day gifts.

Some local businesses said that spending helps pull them out of the January slump that can come after the holidays drain people's wallets.

Love is in the air and, at La Crosse Floral, so is the scent of roses -- lots and lots of roses.

"A lot of the rose growers want us to have our orders in in December, actually sometimes before Christmas," said La Crosse Floral President Linda Zoerb.

A shop full of employees is working this week to get those roses into vases and out the door.

"For most florists, 7 to 8 percent of your income on an annual basis will be from the month of February," said Zoerb.


Valentine's Day is big business for Finnottes Nut & Chocolate Shop too, especially after the post-holiday slump.

"Everybody scales back in January. They've had all of the parties, all of the desserts, all of the special treats. And they kind of say, 'OK, that was too much for a while. Now I'm going to back off.' And by about the time the first of February rolls around, they're ready to do it again," said Finnottes owner Laurie Finn.

At the end of the day, it all comes down to shoppers like Eric Schoenfeld, who said he's spending a little more on the holiday this year.

"This year, I had a surgery right around Christmas time, and it made Christmas difficult. And so I just need to be on point and show my appreciation to my bride for all that she did for me over that rough time," said Schoenfeld.

Crescent Jewelers owner Lynne McIlvaine said December and February are usually the biggest months for engagement ring sales.

But this Valentine's Day, McIlvaine said it's really picked up. She chalks it up to better consumer confidence.

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