Derided by some as an Americanisation of Aussie culture, the rise of Valentine’s Day has done wonders for the Border’s economy, with the benefits reaching well beyond the chocolate and flower industry.
Australian Industry Group Albury Wodonga regional manager Tim Farrah said the occasion helped businesses in the post-Christmas hangover period.
“Over the last 10 or 15 years Valentine’s Day has really grown,” Mr Farrah said.
“When it first started growing legs 20 years ago in Australia there was a fair bit of cynicism but these days people seem to enjoy having an opportunity or excuse to do something romantic or a bit different.”
Florist Carla Walsh of Thistle & Fern said Valentine’s Day was the second biggest day for takings, behind only Mother’s Day.
While co-owner of Chocolate Labrador Jennifer Mamouney said it was always a big sales day.
“It does depend on the day of the week and how the economy is going but we tend to do a big push,” she said.
“It’s a very big day for us, but still behind Easter, Mother’s Day and Christmas time.”
Miss Mamouney said the shop had been ordering special chocolates for weeks.
However, Mr Farrah believes the economic benefits of Valentine’s Days are now felt well beyond the floristry or chocolate industry.
“You see a lot more variation, where it used to be roses and dinner now people are very inventive or give experiences like hot air ballooning,” he said. “You see that spending being spread right across the whole economy not just hospitality.”