By Jenah Schwabel
Valentine’s Day, a holiday that makes single individuals depressed, and couples stressed. Candy makers, florists, and jewelers have a busy week ahead of them as consumers are expected to bring in $17.2 billion in Valentine’s Day sales this year, according to the National Retail Federation.
“For most couples, the expectation is that regardless of what the economic situation is,” Ron Hill, a professor at the Villanova University, said in a statement. “Love is one of the few things that we think has that infinite value.”
According to the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association, the average person spends nearly $116 on Valentine’s Day. That’s 198 million roses grown, 58 million pounds of chocolate sold, and 174,000 gallons of wine consumed for the holiday.
“We have a crazy busy week leading up to the day, especially if the holiday falls on a week day, as most men send their valentines flowers at work” said Shenise Satanek, whose family owns Hess Brothers Florists in the Village of Hamburg. Hess Brothers itself has been in business for 91 Valentine’s Days, as of this year. The brothers opened up for business the week of Valentine’s Day in 1926. “We pride ourselves on our ability to deliver in a wide range area, we do this by helping other florists out and each florist takes deliveries to specific areas so we can deliver as many arrangements as possible to each area,” she said.
Americans began exchanging hand-made valentines in the early 1700s. In the 1840s, Esther A. Howland began selling the first mass-produced valentines in America. Howland, known as the “Mother of the Valentine,” made unique creations with real lace, ribbons and colorful pictures known as “scrap.” Today the American Greeting Card Association estimates that 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards are sent each year.
For many couples, the holiday can be more about your relationships future than it is about just impressing someone with elaborate gifts. According to an American Express report, nearly six million couples are likely to get engaged on Valentine’s Day.
“I’m actually working on a customized engagement ring now for a gentleman who plans to propose on Valentine’s Day,” said Heather Kolb, owner of Trevington Jewelers in the village. “Sales also rise in smaller token gifts of jewelry as well”.