Is the Economy Heartbroken this Valentine’s Day?
Or is it a heartbreaker?
Sing it with me: (Economy) You’re a heartbreaker, dream maker, love taker, don’t you mess around with me!
Seriously, I’ve had it with you, Economy. You took my job, my friends’ jobs, my friends’ businesses, and now you are trying to take my Valentine’s Day? Forget it!
Now, I get it, times are tough, and I know we are all tightening our belts this year. Flower sales are down everywhere, both because flowers are more expensive and fewer people are buying them – so whereas Romeo might once have sprung for a $50 bouquet, he’s now only looking in the $10 bloom bin at the nearby deli.
Jewelers are feeling the pinch, too. Instead of people shelling out for new bling, they are coming in to have older pieces repaired or updated. Cupid is just not feeling the diamonds this year (despite Jane Seymour peddling her “open heart” out for Kay Jewelers).
Standard & Poor’s retail analyst Marie Driscoll said, “People might just get chocolates this year.” And we’re probably not talking Godiva anymore, either.
Gasp! How can this be? ONLY chocolates? How ever will we survive? By getting creative, that’s how. This year, more than ever, it’s the thought that counts. The economy doesn’t have to rob you of your Valentine’s Day – there are plenty of ways to make your feelings known without bottoming out your bank account.
Some businesses are seeing it that way, too, trying to salvage their own Valentine bottom line: Still want to go out for a fancy meal? Ruth’s Chris is offering a three-course meal for $40. You heard me. That’s WAY less than a normal meal there, which usually tops out around $75. Want to make out at the movies? The Seattle Chocolate Company is offering up a Date Night special — two gourmet chocolate bars plus two indie romances on DVD to enjoy at home for $20
On the homefront, if you have children, sometimes the best, most romantic gift you can give each other is a night without the kids. Hire a baby-sitter to take over bath time and bedtime while the two of you enjoy a glass of wine together out of sight.
Remember, the economy might be doing some damage to retailers around the country, but it doesn’t have to shoot your Valentine’s Day in the heart. Valentine’s Day used to be about total indulgence – no expense was spared! But now we don’t necessarily have the luxury of that.
So how are YOU coping? Are you getting creative this year?