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Last-Minute Shoppers Seek Valentines in Wilton

WILTON, Conn. – Valentine’s Day is for celebrating love. This year, like many others before it, men forget about it until the last minute.

At least, that’s what Jan Peterson, owner of Stewart Flowers in Wilton, says. Her busiest days are several days before Valentine's Day and on Feb. 14. 

“Men are notoriously last minute,” Peterson said. But she said it also depends on the day of the week. If it’s a weekend, they won’t be as busy because men will opt to take their significant other out rather than do chocolate or flowers.

But if it’s during the week, she said, they’ll sell a lot more flowers. “For this holiday, I’ll go through about 1,800 red roses and another 1,000 roses of other colors.” About 70 percent of Peterson’s sales are red roses. The rest are bouquets or vases, which are among the 150 to 200 deliveries, or items sold to the more than 100 walk-in customers.

What is Peterson’s advice to men? “Order early.”

Flowers aren’t the only last-minute sales. Norwalk store Chocopologie waitress Christine Jacobson said most men come in the day of or in the week before. “Last week was crazy,” she said. But she said she expected more.

“They’ll either buy what we have packaged or they pick individual chocolates,” Jacobson said.

Rowayton resident Bryant Hinnant was in the store buying salted caramel chocolates for his wife – her favorite. Because she works in New York City, they celebrated on the weekend. But “if you don’t acknowledge that it is Valentine’s Day, you’re a scrooge.”

Some men, though, plan a bit better than others. Sonya Taheri, owner of Campus Jewelers in Wilton, has had quite a few requests for special-order jewelry. “They bring in a picture of a ring and maybe get earrings made to match.”

But for most, heart-shaped pendants, garnets and rubies are the norm.

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