Did inflation impact Valentine’s Day boost for local businesses?

Published: Feb. 14, 2023 at 5:31 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - It’s been a busy day for flower shops, but inflation can’t keep love down.

We talked to shops that see a lot of Valentine’s Day traffic about how inflation is impacting their business.

Prices are not keeping shoppers from getting gifts for their loves. When you think of Valentine’s Day, heart-shaped chocolate, roses, and jewelry are top of the list, and so is inflation.

But this year, one man tells us love isn’t about the price tag. Ray Dunbar isn’t from Augusta, but his girlfriend is.

“I used to just do it because it was that day, but to me, it’s every day,” he said.

When his backup plan failed, he stepped it up this year and traveled two hours to surprise his queen.

“I just couldn’t resist it. You know, I was gonna do the normal routine, which is call Pro Flowers. Have them send it and, but that didn’t work out, posed to be at work. But I called in so I can make the trip up,” said Dunbar.

A hundred and thirteen miles later, the owner of Martina’s Flowers in Martinez is helping Dunbar pull off his surprise.

Kevin McCarthy is the owner of Martina’s Flowers. He said, “We’re not just, you know, we’re not just ordering flowers, usually for one person, especially on Valentine’s Day, this is a gift item. So for that 1,000 orders that we have today, there’s going to be 2,000 love stories that we’re basically helping.”

McCarthy says with the increase in inflation, he wasn’t sure how the holiday would turn out.

“It’s been really concerning. We didn’t know honestly what this Valentine’s day was going to be like in general. We also didn’t know you know what our margins were going to be like or what our costs were going to be like, we kept seeing costs go up over the past year, and they certainly went up this Valentine’s Day,” he said.

Even though inflation has flower prices increasing, people say you can’t put a price tag on love.

“This is worth the expense,” said Dunbar.

Dunbar’s significant other of five years is a teacher in Augusta and says he will pay no matter the cost because he says she’s worth it.

“She’s my everything, you know, and she’s worth it. So if it’s important to her and she loves it, it is important to me,” he said.