Sweet deals on Valentine's Day

February 9, 2009 (CHICAGO) The economic crisis has taken a bite out of some traditional Valentine's Day businesses. And that means couples may be able to find some sweet deals.

At Ashland Addison florist, flower orders are down by 10 to 12 percent from last year. And those who are willing to "say it with flowers" are spending less but expecting more.

If there's one word that describes the business approach to Valentine's Day this year, it is definitely "incentive."

"This year we've cut that increase in delivery fee for the holiday number one. Number two we're doing completely free for early deliveries if someone orders on Wednesday they can pick three free gifts," said Bill Sheffield of Ashland Addison Florist.

At Dinkel's Bakery on the North Side, they're seeing the same trend. Orders are coming in slowly, but they're responding by lowering prices and literally downsizing merchandise. Some items cost less than $10.

"We're offering a lot more smaller things this year which kind of makes sense because Valentine's Day is usually a two-person event. So we have some items that are just perfect for two people," said Eric Dinkel, Dinkel's Bakery.

For those who want get away for the weekend, a hotel stay may be on the agenda.

At the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place, a Valentine's stay in one of their presidential suites will cost you %2,000 but they have packages that start under $200. So far, the hotel is still about 40 packages shy of breaking even with last year.

"We were joking earlier that love is recession-proof. So we're very hopeful that we're going to finish similar to last year," said Christine Bunzol, Hyatt Regency McCormick Place.

All of the business owners ABC7 spoke with said they were optimistic about a big boost later in the week since men tend to be last-minute shoppers.

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