There are no knights in shining armor to sweep girls away with magic and enchantment. Love spells and potions are out of the question; today romance is courted through dating and gifts.
So, retailers gear up for yet another holiday spending spree. After all, Valentine’s Day is the ultimate economic love story. The National Retailers Federation reported that Valentine's Day contributed $18.2 billion to the U.S. economy in 2017. The average consumer spending was $146.84 per gift. Although no Valentine spending statistics are available for Guam, the September 2017 report from the Bureau of Economic Analysis concluded that “consumer spending continued to increase, reflecting growth in local retail trade activity.”
Guam’s growing retail market has a wide selection for consumers who are willing to spend.
On the day of the hearts, the obvious go-to place for extravagant romantic presents on Guam is Tiffany & Co. “Valentine’s Day is the most popular day of the year for engagement proposals,” says Molly Cadmus, director of Guam’s Tiffany’s. “Leading up to Valentine’s Day is an engagement ring from Tiffany’s because we have the best diamonds in the world. Diamonds are an expression of love and of course you want to have the best.”
For those who aren’t ready for marriage, Tiffany’s has other presents. “There’s a Tiffany’s a charm bracelet that is very iconic,” says Cadmus. “A lot of people have this bracelet and every year their Valentine will add a charm to this bracelet. We have several heart designs all from our key designers. We have the open-heart from Elsa Peretti, which is also iconic—it’s been with us since the 70s. The Return to Tiffany Heart has been with us since the 60s and we have updated that and modernized that with the Return to Love collection. One of our major designers is Paloma Picasso and we have the loving heart from her.”
Giving anything Tiffany’s means that the relationship is serious. Tiffany’s is sweeter and more exciting than a box of chocolates. “There’s an anticipation and excitement that Tiffany’s blue box with the white creates, because everyone knows there’s always something special inside,” says Cadmus. “We have an Infinity Collection for Valentine's Day and this symbolizes that the relationship will go on forever and forever. This is a wonderful collection for a daughter to present her mother. Men may come and go but a mother-daughter relationship will always stay for infinity.”
Although no Valentine spending statistics are available for Guam, the September 2017 report from the Bureau of Economic Analysis concluded that consumer spending continued to increase, reflecting growth in local retail trade activity.
Flowers are one of the most iconic symbols of love and at Guam Plant Nursery, flowers are the biggest seller on the holiday of love “Usually on Valentine’s, people are getting gifts for their mom, not really for their other half,” says Mektket God, gardener. “Our best times are actually Mothers’ Day and Christmas. It’s mostly men buying for women. And there’s usually an age demographic. On Valentine’s Day, people are usually into cut roses.”
While roses are their bestseller for Valentines, God says the most significant plant is orchids. “We’re primarily known for our Dendrobium orchids,” God says. “We are known for our orchids are from Hawaii. A lot of other nurseries bring their nurseries from Thailand or Vietnam. Ours tend to last longer because they come in more established and bigger.
Although Valentine’s Day is mainly associated with jewelry and flowers, the best gifts are the ones personally made from the heart. “Just like gifting a diamond, giving art can be just as special,” says Fawn Nadine, owner of the art shop Canvas by Fawn. Painting something yourself or purchasing an original piece by Fawn is just as artistic as a diamond dug and carved into love. “My best sellers are our sip and paint sessions. They run from $35-$46 per person depending on canvas size. If I promote a special for the day we get really booked. When we started the paint session our couples’ Valentines’ class was fully booked.”
To Nadine, art is the best gift because it helps someone escape to a place within themselves away from the stress of the world. “Just the experience in itself is amazing. It takes you away from your everyday worries just for a few hours,” says the artist. “If you and your partner are looking for something different to do Canvas by Fawn is the place. The experience alone is a gift itself. Something to really look back on. And be proud to say ‘I painted that!’”