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Retailers Love Extra Day of Valentine's Business

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RALEIGH — Two dollars for a card, $30 for chocolate and $80 for a dozen long-stemmed, red roses all add up to an expensive Valentine's Day for that special someone.

Retailers say Valentine's Day gifts are more popular than ever. And this year, with the holiday falling on a Sunday, a lot of flower shops and restaurants that are normally closed are keeping their doors open.

Retailers are cashing in on the long weekend -- to the tune of $10 billion! That is how much economists say we are likely to spend on our special someone this year.

The staff at one Raleigh flower shop can hardly keep up with the Valentine's rush. They call it a crazy, but fun time of year.

"Because it's a last minute holiday, they'll wake up Sunday morning and realize they need flowers," says David Lindquist, owner of Fallons Creative Flowers. "We wrestled with it, but we feel in the florist business you really have to be open for Valentine's Day."

Hotels are also making special arrangements for couples in love. Many offer romance packages for the weekend, which include chocolates and champagne.

Restaurants normally closed are also opening their doors. Briggs Restaurant is usually only open for brunch. But Sunday dinner is on the menu until 8:30 that evening.

The price of Valentine goodies, everything from a card to dining out, has skyrocketed over the past few years -- much faster than the rate of inflation.

Economists say we have more money to spend, we're demanding more and are paying for it at every turn.


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