Inflation makes Valentine’s Day a little less sweet and a little more expensive for Calgarians

Kensington Florist says despite inflation they still expect queues out front on Valentine's Day.  (Nick Brizuela/CBC - photo credit)

Kensington Florist says despite inflation they still expect queues out front on Valentine’s Day. (Nick Brizuela/CBC – photo credit)

Inflation makes everything more expensive, and Valentine’s staples like chocolates and roses are no exception.

That’s prompted some Calgarians to stay home and cut costs during the most romantic time of the year.

Sarah O’Keefe and Steve Holness plan to stay for Valentine’s Day, order pizza and see a movie.

“For that very reason, inflation,” O’Keefe said.

“I usually order flowers. And I probably won’t go there this year because I looked at it the other day, I thought that’s pretty expensive,” added Holness.

Inflation in Canada has slowed from its summer peak of 8.1 percent, but the cost of many items, particularly groceries, remains elevated.

Suppliers of chocolate and flowers say they’re busy this year and inflation isn’t cooling consumer demand, but it’s costing them more to offer their products.

Kensington Florist expects to see Calgarians turning up on Valentine’s Day.

Flower prices are 30 percent higher than last year, according to Matt Barciak, the store’s customer service representative. And certain types of flowers can cost even more.

“The price of roses has skyrocketed, and what’s happening during Valentine’s Day that a lot of people don’t realize is they think the flower shop is asking for more,” he said.

Nick Brizuela/CBC

Nick Brizuela/CBC

“But it’s actually the farms that charge us more for the flowers. And so we have to pay more for shipping and bring them here.”

Like Kensington Florist, Marda Loop chocolatier Master Chocolat has faced increased prices for the products it sells.

Zola Milbourne, area retail manager, said everything from the cost of the ingredients to the packaging it comes in is more expensive.

“Everything has gone up. That’s why everything is so much more expensive to produce,” she said.

Milbourne said packaging in particular is costing the store 60 percent more than it used to.

“Except for the stickers we seal our boxes with, all those things, it’s a price increase across the board,” she said.

This additional cost meant the store had to increase its prices per box of chocolate, but this was offset by adding more chocolate to the box.

Milbourne said people are still coming in and the place is busy, although some may be spending less.

“Maybe in some ways people’s prices have gotten a little bit lower so maybe they don’t buy the biggest box of chocolates anymore. It could be somewhere on a smaller scale,” she said.

“But the people who still come into the store to buy the chocolates are definitely still here. They support us.”


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