Valentine’s Day holiday boosts some area businesses – Saratogian


CAPITAL AREA, NY — As the winter season amid a pandemic is proving to be a tough time for many local businesses, some are seeing sales surge in February thanks to the Valentine’s Day holiday.

Stores in the capital regions offering cards, flowers and chocolate could be in luck as lovers of the region open their wallets this February 14.

Spending on Valentine’s Day is expected to hit $23.9 billion this year, up from $21.8 billion in 2021 and the second-highest year on record, according to an annual survey released by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights. & Analytics.

“Following the historic level of consumer spending during the winter holidays, it looks like the trend will continue through 2022,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said in a press release. . “Valentine’s Day is a special occasion for many Americans, especially as we emerge from the pandemic, and retailers are ready to help them mark the holiday in a memorable and meaningful way.”

More than half (53%) of U.S. consumers plan to celebrate the holiday in 2022, up from 52% in 2021. More than three-quarters (76%) of those who celebrate say it’s important to do so given the current state of the pandemic.

According to the survey, shoppers expect to spend an average of $175.41 per person on Valentine’s Day gifts, up from $164.76 in 2021. The increase comes as many plan to spend more for their relatives or spouses.

Candy, greeting cards and flowers remain the most popular gifts this Valentine’s Day, which is good news for local establishments like Pawling Flower Shop in Troy and Saratoga Candy Company in Saratoga Springs.

Both longtime companies report that Valentine’s Day is always their busiest day of the year.

“It’s been a hectic but rewarding holiday,” said David Johnson, owner of Pawling Flower Shop. “You feel good bringing a smile to someone’s face amidst the craziness.”

The key is just to be prepared, said Johnson, who has ordered about 1,500 roses this year, recruited extra helpers and offered extended hours during the holidays.

Dawn Oesch, owner of Saratoga Candy Company, agrees. “It’s exhausting,” she said of the long days of preparation, “but worth it to make everyone happy.”

Along with must-haves like chocolate-covered strawberries and heart-shaped boxes of assorted chocolates, Oesch has created a novelty this Valentine’s Day called “Breakfast in a Box,” which includes a waffle, mini syrup, packet of coffee, gummy eggs and orange “juice” candies.

In addition to tangible gifts, nearly a third of survey respondents plan to give a party this year, up from 24% in 2021 and just slightly below pre-pandemic levels, for a total of 4 .3 billion.

Demand for experience gifts, such as tickets to a concert or sporting event, has returned to pre-pandemic levels, with 41% saying they would like to receive an experience gift, up from 36% the year last.

“While traditional Valentine’s Day gifts like candy and flowers never seem to go out of style, gift givers and recipients are more comfortable going out for a special meal or partaking in a new experience than ‘they weren’t a year ago,’ Vice Director of Prosper Insights Strategy President Phil Rist said in the release, noting that this is especially true among younger age groups.

Two local businesses, Fred Astaire Dance Studios in Saratoga Springs and Azuma Sushi Bistro in Malta, are drawing couples through their doors by joining forces for a dinner and dance promotion.

For the Valentine’s Day experience, a total of 250 guests who visit Azuma Sushi Bistro on Valentine’s Day for dine-in or take-out will receive a voucher for a customizable 30-minute private lesson at the studios of Fred Astaire dancing nearby. Vouchers are redeemable for any date in the future, but appointments must be made in advance.

“We love being involved in the community,” Azuma Sushi Bistro owner Briana Lin said of the partnership, “but the pandemic has made it difficult for small businesses and customers; so when we saw an opportunity to partner with Elizabeth and Gray at Fred Astaire Dance Studios – Saratoga, the decision was easy. Valentine’s Day is a day when friends and couples celebrate their love, and we want to make this celebration something special.

Elizabeth Masko, who owns the local dance studio with her husband Grey, said the free classes are a way for couples to extend their night out. “I think dancing lends itself to romance in the first place,” she said, sharing that the studio is also offering a special Valentine’s Day group class for couples that will include tango dances, salsa and rumba. “They’re kind of the most romantic dances, and they’re also relatively easy to learn.”

To continue the Valentine’s Day celebration, Fred Astaire Dance Studios will be hosting a Sweet Tooth Party at 7:45 p.m. on Friday, February 18. The studio will offer general dances to the public, student and professional performances, as well as a homemade dessert. competition. Participants are encouraged to bring a homemade dessert and have the chance to win a free private lesson if the dessert wins in one of three categories: the most beautiful, the tastiest or the most original.

A total of 250 guests who visit Azuma Sushi Bistro on Valentine’s Day for dine-in or take-out will receive a voucher for a customizable 30-minute private lesson at Fred Astaire Dance Studios in Saratoga Springs, redeemable for a date in the future. (Lauren Halligan – MediaNews Group)
Fred Astaire Dance Studios in Saratoga Springs will host a Sweet Tooth Party on Friday, February 18, when the studio will offer general dances for the public, student and professional performances, and a homemade dessert contest. (Lauren Halligan – MediaNews Group)
Saratoga Candy Company bakes thousands of Chocolate Strawberries every Valentine’s Day. (Photo provided)
For Valentine’s Day, Saratoga Candy Company is launching a new breakfast-in-a-box featuring a waffle, mini syrup, packet of coffee, gummy eggs, and orange candies. (Photo provided)
A Valentine’s Day display greets those who enter the Pawling Flower Shop in early February. (Lauren Halligan – MediaNews Group)
Pawling Flower Shop owner David Johnson prepares an arrangement of red roses for Valentine’s Day. (Lauren Halligan – MediaNews Group)
A sign outside Pawling Flower Shop in Troy reminds passersby of Valentine’s Day. (Lauren Halligan – MediaNews Group)
Many Valentine’s Day celebrators plan to throw a party this year, more than in 2021 and just slightly below pre-pandemic levels, totaling $4.3 billion, annual survey shows published by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics. (Picture provided)
Valentine’s Day spending is expected to reach $23.9 billion this year, according to an annual survey published by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics. (Picture provided)
Azuma Sushi Bistro, which partners with other local Fred Astaire Dance Studios for a Valentine’s Day date experience for area couples, serves Japanese, Chinese, and Thai cuisine. (Lauren Halligan – MediaNews Group file)
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