Rush begins for Valentine's gifts

February 10, 2001|By MARLO BARNHART

Rush begins for Valentine's gifts

Roses, candy, sexy lingerie, plush animals ... all the traditional gift favorites for Valentine's Day are selling well this year throughout the Tri-State area.

Florists and candy makers are reporting ample supplies, but the season's big new seller - Hallmark's Kiss-Kiss Bears - sold out fast.

"I ordered way ahead and got one shipment of 144 sets of the bears," said Sandy Wilgus, manager of John's Hallmark in the Hagerstown Valley Mall.

They were gone almost immediately and no more could be ordered, she said.

"I think it was that great ad on television that did it."

The attraction is that when these plush bears kiss each other, they stay "kissed," thanks to carefully-positioned magnets.

Wilgus said boxes of candy were selling well, as were other plush animals in general.

Wilgus said the "rush" will begin today and continue through Wednesday.

"Valentine's Day is a very busy day," Wilgus said.


Year after year, red roses continue to lead the field as the favorite gift on Valentine's Day.

"The market was a little tight this year, especially for red," said Greg Plasterer of Plasterer's Florist in Chambersburg, Pa.

The reason is that Valentine's Day is relatively close to Christmas, another holiday where red flowers are in demand.

Plasterer said boxed roses are running $49.95 while arranged roses in a glass vase with baby's breath are $65 - the same as last year.

"Most of our roses come from Columbia and Ecuador," Plasterer said. "They grow roses there like we grow corn."

He sells hundreds of balloons on Valentine's Day and lots of plush animals. Spring bouquets are also very popular.

"We're seeing more and more women buying gifts for their men," he said, noting that, traditionally, Valentine's Day is men purchasing for the women in their lives.

Ginger's Florist in Martinsburg, W.Va., has arranged roses for $79.50 this year. A half dozen are going for $42.50.

"All colors are available and selling well," said Natalie Stefkovic, manager at the Race Street location.

The big sellers after roses are balloons, stuffed animals and other cut flowers, she said.

Becky Glesner, secretary at Gibney's Florists on Franklin Street in Hagerstown, said roses there are selling for $65 a dozen this year, arranged.

"We've been selling a lot but we're not into the rush yet," Glesner said Thursday.

The closer to Valentine's Day, the bigger the rush.

Getting enough roses to satisfy demand isn't a problem; getting them all delivered by Valentine's Day is. Glesner advises ordering early for guaranteed delivery.

Debbie Vinson, owner of Deb's Flowers in Hagerstown, said, "Our roses are $55 arranged and $45 wrapped," the same as last year.

No matter what fads come and go, roses are always the top sellers, she said.

Candy in heart boxes are No. 1 at Olympia Candy Kitchens on Pennsylvania Avenue in Hagerstown.

"This is our third busiest holiday, next to Easter and Christmas," said Ligia Teodorovici, manager.

Lots of customers come in, pick out a tin and then have it filled with their loved one's favorite sweets.

The Herald-Mail Articles