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Expert Alert

Making love, business and flowers bloom in tough Valentines Day economy

February 9, 2009

Although this Valentine's Day is expected to see an average of 17 percent less in spending on gifts and other merchandise, the day is still a time to show your special someone you care and one of the busiest for romance related retailers. University of Minnesota experts who can discuss all things Valentine's Day are:
Susanne Jones, University of Minnesota Communication Studies professor
Buying a Valentine's Day present yet neglecting appropriate nonverbal cues (e.g. kisses, hugs) and verbal statements (e.g. I love you) causes more damage than good, theorizes Jones. For example, coming home and slamming the chocolate or roses on the table and then going about your business is no good. You'd be surprised by how many people say, 'But I bought him or her flowers!' Jones can also discuss how some research shows that more people tend to break up on Valentine's Day.
Dave Hopkins, University of Minnesota Managing Director of Carlson Brand Enterprise
While people will not stop spending completely, it is likely to slow down this Valentine's Day, says Hopkins, who is managing director of the Carlson Brand Enterprise. On what is usually their busiest day of the year, restaurants are preparing for a low turnout and some are even offering recession menus. Hopkins can explain what other tactics retailers might employ and how consumer behavior could change on Cupid's big day.
David Zlesak, University of Minnesota Extension horticulture assistant professor

Valentine's Day is among the top days for flower sales worldwide. But how do you know you're sending the best blossoms for the money? Zlesak can discuss the practical aspects of flower buying and preservation as well as what makes roses smell so good. 

To interview one of these experts, contact the University News Service, (612) 624-5551.

Tags: College of Liberal Arts, Carlson School of Management, Extension

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