The general consensus from store owners in Winchester Center is that business has been good leading up to Valentine's Day, but sales may be even stronger the day of the holiday.
Flower Sales Booming
It may not come as a great surprise that flower sales pick up around the time of Valentine's Day, but if you have aspirations of buying roses on the holiday from Pondview Florist you might want to call ahead and see if there are any left in stock.
"I have not looked at the numbers yet, but business has been fabulous really," said Diane DeSimone, a Melrose resident and owner of Winchester-based Pondview Florist, which has been open for 13 years. "We’re pretty much sold out of roses right now. It’s been a great holiday."
Marc Picariello, a Stoneham resident and floral designer for Pondview Florist, said says the store sells flowers via the business’s website and is associated with Teleflora. "We have all the designs up there and we have a section on the website where we have our own designs so customers can go there to look up all the designs we offer."
In anticipation of a busy Valentine's Day, DeSimone said six to eight people will be working at the store while three delivery vehicles will be out on the road.
"Oh, (sales are) a lot better than last year,” said Janet Trombley, owner of Nick & Lizzie's Sweet Surprise. "Business has been really good. Selling a lot of Winchester apparel…like the zip-fronts and the sweatshirts. Anything with Winchester always sells."
An added bonus for those buying Valentine's Day apparel and other gifts? “We have the free Valentine’s Day bags. We wrap (gifts) for them, make them look pretty," Trombley said of her business, which has been open to customers for a decade. "We have a lot of Valentine’s Day stuff, but we’ve sold through a lot."
Trombley has had a strong run up to the holiday, especially after the blizzard hindered her business recently.
"It’s been a really big week. We were closed over the weekend because of the snowstorm, so this week has been really big leading up to Valentine’s Day," Trombley said.
As for Thursday, Trombley said, "It’s really crazy" on Valentine’s Day, adding that she likely will call upon a friend to help run the shop.
Jewelry Selling Well
Meanwhile, Artie Bennos, owner of Simms II Jewelers, discussed how his business has been healthy to start the New Year.
"Business has been quite brisk," Bennos said. "So far it has been a very encouraging sales season. We have had people that started last week and as you can see we have people in the store now. I’m very happy and very fortunate."
Bennos explained that business has proven to be off to a better start this year compared to last. Custom jewelry orders are up over last year, Bennos said, and everything from bracelets to engagement rings are selling, with no one product overshadowing another in terms of overall sales.
"Sales are better than last year," he said. "...The biggest day will be (Valentine's Day) and jewelry tends to be a last-minute (purchase). Your biggest day could be two hours before the deadline."
When it comes to specials on jewelry, Bennos said his shop does not dabble in that area.
"When we opened up our business 35 years ago, I decided I was not going to play that phony discount routine. Mark it up, mark it down," Bennos said. "So part of our mission statement has been that it will never cost you extra for the convenience of shopping locally. For the type of quality jewelry we sell we are just as competitive with any of the upscale mall stores or the so-called discounters in Boston."
Looking For a Good Holiday Showing
Beth Jordan, owner of Jewelers Workshop, said sales have been down this year. But, she anticipates a better turnout of customers on Thursday.
"Valentine’s Day…it’s mostly new love, or grandparents buying for their grandchildren," Jordan said. "Kids will be in with their fathers (Thursday) to pick out gifts for their mothers.
“We usually take 10 percent off. This time of year most everything can be discounted.”