QUINCY — Local businesses aren’t seeing much of a decline in customers as Valentine’s Day closes in.
According to a National Retail Federation poll, spending on the holiday this year is projected to be about $30 less per person than it was last year. A large part of this comes from respondents saying they’re not planning on an evening out, both due to COVID-19 restrictions and with Valentine’s Day falling on a Sunday this year.
Locally, there doesn’t seem to be as large of an effect on those shopping for gifts and special evenings.
Tamy Cassady, a floral designer at Hy-Vee on Broadway, said there hasn’t been as big of a drop-off as people might expect.
“It’s not quite as many as last year,” Cassady said, “but it’s still early yet, too.”
Cassady doesn’t believe the Sunday holiday is going to cause much of an issue in their flower orders.
“I don’t think that will be a big deal,” she said. “We’ll have trucks running deliveries all day Saturday and Sunday.
“The cold weather will be a bigger problem,” she added. “It’s a big challenge to get flowers out fast and fresh when it’s this cold.”
BoodaLu Steakhouse plans a special evening for dinners all weekend, including being open on Sunday night, a night it’s usually closed.
General manager Skip Bright said they wanted to give their customers a special night for both Valentine’s Day and because of so many nights they couldn’t be open over the past year.
“We’re including Friday night for our Valentine’s Day weekend,” Bright said. Along with the regular menu offerings, there will be two special meals offered all three nights, as well.
“We’re already full on Saturday,” Bright said. “So far, Friday is about like a normal Friday, but Sunday is filling up really quickly, also.”
Bright said the reservations they have are similar to the numbers they had last year for Valentine’s Day.
The National Retail Federation’s poll showed that Valentine’s Day spending across the country is expected to bring in more than $20 billion for businesses, with more than 50% of adults saying they intend to celebrate in some fashion. Candy and cards are the leading items being purchased, with clothing and jewelry at the lower end of the scale. Flowers still rank high, with 36% of responders saying they plan to get flowers.
Hy-Vee’s Cassady said that’s to be expected every year, also.
“There’s always going to be people rushing in at the last minute because they forgot it was Valentine’s Day,” she said.