You’ve got that loving feeling…

By Miren Hurtado
Story published in Dewsbury Reporter on 12 February 2010
Image: Dewsbury Reporter

With Valentine Day’s approaching this weekend sales of romantic gifts are unsurprisingly on the up. Cupid’s shopping is a daunting task for anyone but for local shops this day means a significant boost in sales and bookings. Miren Hurtado spoke to traders.

2010_02_14_You’ve got that loving feeling
Angela Stokes with her Valentine display at Blossom and Berries.

Cynics may think it’s a commercial opportunity, loved-up couples may see it as an excuse to make an extra effort – but either way there’s no escaping hearts and flowers in the run up to Valentine’s Day.

At the Oops A Daisy gift shop in Mirfield, people started Valentine’s shopping around two weeks ago. Among the most popular purchases are candles, books with quotations, toys and balloons.

Owner Christine Haigh said: “I’ve run the shop for two years and Valentine’s is always good – I try to offer in-expensive gifts. Many people are asking for toys, which are a very good item.”

But other traders say shoppers have lost that loving feeling. Ian Sykes has run Hallmark jewellers in Dewsbury for 15 years. He said February 14 is not as busy as it used to be and it is rare that people now buy necklaces or engagement rings.

He added: “Valentine’s is more for chocolates and gifts. It is not really an event compared to how it used to be.

I seem to go round in circles – one year you can take lots, but next two years nothing.”

But Mark Hepworth, managing director of Openshaw’s jewellers in Cleckheaton, expects tomorrow to be a hectic day with customers picking up some last-minute special gifts.

After Christmas and Mother’s Day, the week of Valentine’s Day is our third busiest of the year. With Valentine’s Days falling on a Sunday this year, Saturday will be a particularly busy and exciting day.

Diamond jewellery, especially pieces that are heart-shaped in either gold or silver, is top favourites, and the designer brand Hot Diamonds has been a consistent performer for us now for over 12 years.”

In Batley loved-up couples will pack out Roberto’s restaurant, which is fully booked. Razia Khan has run the restaurant since 2003 with her husband Mauro Ciannella, who is also the chef.

She said: “Last year Valentine’s fell on a weekend as well and it was busy. We are now fully booked for this weekend and we will probably be busy on Monday as well, as many people prefer to wait until Monday to avoid the crowds.”

Florist Angela Stokes, owner of Dewsbury’s Blossom and Berries, is also expecting a busy weekend.

Angela said: “Many people have been looking and queuing at the shop throughout the week but this weekend will be the panic time.
Last year we sold 50 Valentine’s bouquets so we have ordered 1,000 roses for this weekend!.”


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