The Cost of Love
Some prices rising for traditional Valentine's Day gifts
ANCHORAGE - Call it the cost of love: If it seems like traditional Valentine’s day gifts have gone up in price, you are probably right. But in some cases the cause is that retailers are paying more themselves.
At the Partycraft store on International, balloons are big business -- and Valentine balloons are popular now. But customers who choose to say “I love you" that way will pay a little bit more. That’s because the cost of helium gas to fill them up has gone up 30 percent. Many businesses call it a balancing act.
“We do want to stay competitive though, so we want to keep our customers coming back to us,” said Jackie Seiffert of Partycraft.
Keeping prices low and customers happy even though their own costs are going up is a challenge. At the Alaska Wild Berry store they chose not to raise the price of chocolates this Valentine’s Day, but they could have.
“Yeah, the price of sugar has gone up dramatically over the last year; it's almost doubled in price," said manager Dwayne Guerr. “The cost of shipping that up here is pretty hefty too.”
Shipping is a huge part of what drives the cost of flowers as well. A cost that traditionally soars for roses near Valentine’s Day.
“It’s supply and demand,” said Aram Markossian, owner of Cedars. Cedars is a wholesale florist in Anchorage where the flower shops get their flowers. Markossian says he is paying double for roses right now and can’t help but pass those costs along.
“That’s why the florists charge more at Valentine's, because they pay me more over here,” said Markossian.
His best advice for Valentine shoppers is to pick another flower where the costs have stayed the same.
Or you could wait a week to celebrate when prices will surely go back down.