In a recession, Anchorage is more frugal during 2018 Valentines Day

Published: Feb. 15, 2018 at 10:34 AM AKST
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While the economy may be down, spending on


is still up.

“Yeah, it’s a big chunk [profit] for us,” said Travis Hill of


The national day of devotion – Valentine's Day – can be make or break for some businesses in Anchorage.

"You do as much this week as you'll do in a whole quarter," said Hill.

If the state was not in a recession like it is currently, Hill says that the constant challenge of bringing customers through the door would not be as difficult as it currently is. Hill adds that people are still spending, but just not as much as they did a couple of years ago.

"Even if you end up with the same number of orders for a holiday, your general dollar-per-sale is down," said Hill. "They might get flowers still, but they'll skip the chocolate, skip the stuffed animals [and] skip the balloons."

Zoe Oakley of

says there's some truth to that statement. She said customers are asking more questions about prices than they did previously, and that they are looking for ways to size down purchases.

"Some of it's been up [and] down, and it's been a little unpredictable," said Oakley. "There's definitely been years – the earlier years – where it's been much crazier."

Kristin Helvey is one of the many locals making last minute purchases for their significant other. She said, like many others, she's more frugal with her dollars than she was in years past. It's all because of the economy, she says, but she also believes that this holiday is not really about the materialistic items she's purchasing.

"The state recession has impacted everybody in some way or another," said Helvey, "and I think it's smart to be in a budget mindset all the time anyway, but absolutely for things like this. I think we look at how we can spend time together, and then how we celebrate with a card and some chocolates."

But no matter how much -- or little -- you spend, Helvey sees it this way: "Love has no price tag."

Just don't believe the florist when he tells you that the roses are free.