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Ms Phillips said customers order a month in advance for other occasions, including Mothers Day and Christmas, but it is mostly a last-minute thing for Valentines Day.

In the National Retail Federation's annual Valentine's Day spending survey, consumers are expected to spend about $1.8 billion on candy, this year's most popular gift.

"They're classic, you know", Viviano said. At Blooming Rose, the Valentine's Day flower shipments started arriving at the end of the week.

Of course, the cheapest flowers won't always be the best. "One well respected socialite would say red and pink roses mean this or that, and when someone on the other side of town said something else, they didn't jive".

The index found that dining out for "date night" remains one of the most popular activities for South Africans.

Florists say the flower business often becomes a guessing game when it comes to Valentine's Day in Odessa, with its boom-bust economy.

"We have a lot of people who have been doing this for a while", said Garner.

Australia has imported a record number of roses in the lead up to Valentine's Day, with more than 10.5 million rose stems brought into the country in the last two weeks.

Having Valentine's Day on a Wednesday also boosts Krauss's sales as well, but it adds an extra chunk from college limitations.

Still, Valentine's Day is a challenge, but she wouldn't have it any other way.

"We have to constantly monitor minimum and maximum temperature exposure throughout the entire routing process, and we have to meet very specific requirements to help ensure every flower's freshness is properly preserved", said David Vance, American's vice president of cargo operations. “As the largest privately-owned flower farm in Colombia, we depend on a reliable logistics partner to ship millions of blooms during this important holiday.”.

It's so busy that Cindy Maddox takes off from her day job as a justice of the peace assistant to work at Nacogdoches Floral. "I like to think that I have a lovely job and I get to play with flowers every day". And for the industry's biggest day? However, just over a quarter (28%) of all transactions (between 11 - 14 February) were made on Valentine's Day itself.

"It's a lot of last minute guys and a majority of it is over the phone for deliveries", Mrs Swift said. Don't conform to today's definition of Valentine's Day. This suggests couples may be more focused on experiences rather than gifts for the holiday and small businesses, particularly those in destination locations, may want to plan accordingly.