Valentine's Day means big business for retailers in the east

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NEW BERN, NC (WITN) Chocolates, balloons, flowers, and of course cards are some of the biggest selling items for loved ones on Valentine's Day and consumers in the east are keeping retailers busy.

Scott Price, co-owner of Occasions To Celebrate in New Bern says, "Roses, stuffed animals, and balloons. We do a lot with all three of those categories and chocolates."

This year retailers expect $2 billion to be spent on roses and other flowers and people are expected to spend just over $136.00 on their significant other.

Price says, "We love it, it keeps us going crazy and we have so much fun. It's something we look forward to every year. It's just the fact knowing that we've made people happy. I mean that's what we love about it more than anything."

For stores like Occasions To Celebrate, the Valentine's Day rush helps them make it through the next few months of expenses. And even though spending is expected to be down nearly a billion dollars from 2016 to just over $18 billion, store owners say they are still seeing their fair share of customers.

Price says, "It started off a little slow at first but then it's really picked up the last two days and it's really pulled itself out."

Jenna Gifford, manager of Jan's Hallmark store at the New Bern Mall says, "It's the second busiest day of the year for us at Hallmark stores so this is a huge, huge day for us."

Gifford says Valentine's Day is all about helping customers find that perfect out of the ordinary gift.

Gifford says, "I always try to convince the men that you need to get more than just a card. If you go home with just a card you might be in the dog house, so we try to get out of them maybe what their special someone is into, is she into the beach or a special craft and then help build the perfect gift."

This year retailers also expect spending to reach nearly $2 billion on candy and just over $4 billion on jewelry.