GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Valentine’s Day is Thursday and according to the National Retail Federation, spending on gifts is expected to top $20 billion this year. At the top of the list of gifts are traditional favorites like jewelry, flowers, and candy.
At flower shops across the Gulf Coast, florists are busy are designing and creating floral arrangements. Pick-up and deliveries are lined up and ready to go.
“This is what you need to send to your wife, girlfriend or boyfriend. It doesn’t matter as long as you send roses,” said Christopher Michael, a florist at Lemon Tree Adams Flowers in Orange Grove.
Michael says he’s seeing even more business than usual this year. “We have four drivers out delivering for Valentine’s, so it’s going be good. Valentines is probably going to be the best it’s been."
The National Retail Federation estimates that flower sales will come in at a staggering $2 billion this Valentine’s.
As for the top sellers, some things never change.
“Red roses and white Oriental lilies, tropicals have been pretty good this year too,” said Michaels.
Decadent chocolate treats are always at the top of the list when it comes to gifts for Valentine’s. At Coast Candymakers inside Island View Casino, chocolate-dipped strawberries are the top-seller this week.
“It’ll really begin on the 13th,” said Denise Pharr with Coast Candymakers. "They’ll be lining up at the door and we’ll be dipping strawberries from 11 in the morning until 8 at night when we close.
Although the lines are long, Coast Candymakers may be worth the wait. The people waiting to purchase chocolates all seem to have a smile on their face, said Pharr.
“It must be the sweetness or the sugar that brings out the niceness in everybody,” said Pharr. “Candy is a big seller.”
On average, people will spend $160 on Valentine’s gifts, according to the Retail Federation.
Those surveyed by the National Retail Federation said they would spend an average of just more than $160 dollars on Valentines gifts. However, the NRF notes that less people are buying Valentine’s gift but those that do are spending more money.