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Friday, February 11, 2011

A Shopper’s Guide to Valentine’s Day Retail Resources

A Shopper’s Guide to Valentine’s Day Retail Resources:
Flowers, jewelry, cards, spas 
and chocolate
(Posted to 2/11)
By Mike Lauterborn
© 2011. All Rights Reserved.

Fairfield, CT – That special day is just around the corner, Valentine’s Day. Like many people, you’re probably scrambling last minute for a thoughtful gift that shows you care. But where to go and what to buy?

Patch takes some of the stress out of the decision making process with a helpful list of a few local retailers and their wares in the flowers, jewelry, greeting card, day spa and chocolate categories. We’ve also taken a moment to check in with a retailer in each segment to see who’s buying, what they’re buying and how business is going.

Hansen’s Flower Shop, 1040 Post Road, 203-255-0461
An unusual selection of cut flowers from all over the world.

Fairfield Florist, 1998 Post Road, 203-256-9342
Wide selection of flowers, arrangements and plants.

Sullivan’s Heritage Florist, 25 South Benson Road, 203-259-1629
Large selection of cut flowers, including Ecuadorian roses and Dutch flowers, and custom-made arrangements for every order.

Dailey’s Flower Shop, 2151 Black Rock Tpke., 203-336-1895
Custom bouquets, floral arrangements and gift baskets. Same-day delivery available.

Colonial Gardens, 1174 Bronson Road, 203-259-2722
Full-service flower shop, greenhouse plants and roses.

Spotlight: Hansen’s Flower Shop
Patch pulled aside General Manager Gary Lucas, who reported that business was speeding along. “If business doesn’t spike for any flower shop on Valentine’s Day, they’re in trouble. Our business has been expanding and is very good this year and for this holiday.”

Lucas said his customers have been male for the most part. “Ninety-percent of our traffic is men, mostly looking for roses. They make very simple, traditional selections.”

As to special items, Lucas said, “We are offering chocolate, stuffed animals, balloons, an array of flowers from all over the world and, of course, arrangements of roses – any amount from one dozen to three dozen.”

Fairfield Center Jewelers, 1498 Post Road, 203-259-5693
Precious gems in all the colors of spring in the middle of winter

J. Albert Johnson Jewelers, 1957 Black Rock Tpke., 203-334-4680
Quality diamonds and elegant jewelry at fair pricing.

Shaw Jewelers, 525 Tunxis Hill Cutoff, 203-367-0777
Designer and affordable semi-precious and precious stones and sterling silver.

HC Reid Jewelers, 1591 Post Road, 203-255-0447
Affordable designer jewelry in gold and silver with diamonds, as well as colored stones. A selection of cultured pearls is also offered.

Lenox Jewelers, 2379 Black Rock Tpke., 203-374-6157
Diamonds, gemstones, giftware and engraving.

Spotlight: Fairfield Center Jewelers
Partner Howard Diamond took a moment to comment, “Every Valentine’s Day is different in terms of traffic and business. The economy especially forces people to prioritize their expense. Valentine’s Day is kind of a polite dutiful holiday. It’s not as important as birthdays and anniversaries, so people are more careful with their spending. People are also looking at their December holiday credit card bills and at tax time, which affects the dynamic. It’s still a significant day for us.”

As to shoppers, Diamond said, “A lot of women have been coming in and making wish lists, looking at white gold and platinum pendants, as well as pearl jewelry.”

About business, Diamond added, “Business has been better than last year, despite the weather. People are more positive and our sales are up.”

Greeting Cards
Party Party, 14 Sanford Street, 203-292-9277
Fine stationery, gifts and event planning services.

Cardsmart, 2075 Black Rock Tpke., 203-334-1657
Discount cards and quality gifts.

Miller’s Hallmark, 2255 Black Rock Tpke., 203-368-1778
Candy, plush toys, wide selection of greeting cards, single roses and pre-wrapped items.

700 Post Road, 203-255-1089
1968 Black Rock Tpke., 203-366-8070
Wide array of greeting cards, candy, balloons, flowers and plush toys.

Spotlight: Party Party
Owner Mary Thornton’s shop opened at the end of September, offering “paper, presents and parties”, as she put it. “For Valentine’s Day, we have great greeting cards and gifts such as personalized notepads and frames,” she said. “We’re having a special in February called “All You Need Is Love” offering 10% off anything wedding related, from invites to Save The Date notes.”

About shoppers, she said, “People have been looking for gifts for that special someone, and cards. Our walk-ins are primarily women, thought we get some men, too.”

Day Spas
The Spa, 1139 Post Road, 203-259-8757
Deluxe facials, massage therapy, body and foot treatments, waxing, hair care, bath and body products and gift certificates.

Total Look Salons, 2193 Black Rock Tpke., 203-367-4247
Complete hair care, facials, waxing, manicures, pedicures, medi-spa services, gift packages and baskets.

Ocean Skin Care Spa and Massage, 1700 Post Road, 203-292-8188
Massage therapy, facials, body waxing, body treatments and skin care products.

Turquoise Medical Spa, 1305 Post Road, 203-319-1900
Facials, cosmetic procedures, a variety of massages and waxing.

Spotlight: The Spa
Patch spoke with Business Manager Al Dee about the holiday. “This is probably the third largest volume day we have after Christmas and Mother’s Day. This year it’s kind of early to size up traffic as most purchases will be made Saturday, a couple days before the holiday.”

Thus far, though, Dee said, “Our traffic has been mostly men, for their wives and mothers. Some of it is online or by phone, in addition to the walk-ins.”

Summing up, Dee added, “Spa services are a good gift as they are personal. Gift requests are usually massages and facials.”

Sweet Rexies, 1552 Post Road, 203-254-3254
Chocolates, classic candies, apparel, plush toys, gift baskets and ice cream.

Spotlight: Sweet Rexies
Owner Nanci Lewis said about Valentine’s Day, “It’s a unique holiday. People tend to shop just a few days before. The weather has affected us, but we’re pretty much on track with last year. We’ll see how this weekend goes.”

About her customers, Lewis said, “We get moms coming in to buy for kids and husbands but, really, whoever likes candy and gourmet chocolate.”

Lewis has a wide variety of products to offer for the holiday. “For Valentine’s Day, we have different sized heart containers, with zebra stripes and XO’s. Anyone can fill those with their own candy – a custom make-your-own Valentine’s heart.
Other items include ready-made boxes of Godiva chocolates, gift baskets, tall canisters of chocolate drizzled popcorn, champagne bottles of milk chocolate, Love Me To Pieces bars and even nut-free candies.”

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