The 24 hours preceding Valentine’s Day: for most retailers it’s a frenzied time, with a mad dash of last-minute shoppers picking up gifts for their sweetheart.
But what changes when, like Thursday morning on the North Fork, heavy snowfall makes it hazardous to venture outdoors, let alone go shopping?
As it turns out, most local retailers said, not much.
“I think there’s a song called ‘Love Don’t Wait,’” said Jackie Gilsberg, owner of Love Lane Sweet Shoppe in Mattituck. “No matter what, people need to get their Valentine’s Day gifts. They need their chocolate.”
Thursday morning, Ms. Wilsberg said, two men even made the roughly 26-mile trek from Shirley.
“They come here every year and said their partners would be very disappointed if they didn’t get them a gift from Love Lane Sweet Shoppe,” she said, adding that the store will observe regular business hours the rest of Thursday and all of Friday.
At Riverhead Flower Shop on East Main Street in Riverhead, floral designer Catherine Crook said Valentine’s Day is “still on” and that customers are continuously flowing into the store to pick up arrangements — though she noted many shoppers opted to buy flowers yesterday in anticipation of Thursday’s storm.
“It’s business as usual here,” she said.
The same is largely true at The Candy Man in Orient, where sale associate Taylor Vibert said that while business is slow, the Route 25 store had two customers before noon — and she expects more will show up.
“All the kids are out of school so I’m sure they’ll come around,” she said. “We’re continuing like it’s a normal day. We’re dipping caramels, truffles, creams and marshmallows into dark chocolate.”
Not all local businesses, however, are faring as well.
At the Inn and Spa at East Wind in Wading River, spa receptionist Janelle DelaRosa lamented weather conditions, summing up things as “miserable.”
“It’s been really rough here, especially at the spa,” Ms. DelaRosa said, adding that the spa will have a 30-minute delayed opening tomorrow. “We’ve had a lot of cancellations and it’s really driven down our sales.”
Couples who had booked massages and facials for Feb. 13 aren’t taking any chances in the snow, she said, and many aren’t committing to rescheduled dates yet.
“As of right now I’ve been hearing a lot of ‘We’ll have to call you back,’” Ms. DelaRosa said. “It’s tough.”