Veronika McKerrell

Veronika McKerrell

Nanaimo retailers ready for love

NANAIMO – Valentine's Day one of the busiest of the year for shops like Cherub Chocolate and My Undies.

Nanaimo retailers are stocked and ready for love.

Whether it’s bouquets of roses, or lingerie and Kama Sutra-inspired chocolate, stores are giving shoppers a pick of naughty and nice this Valentine’s Day.

According to an online survey by RetailMeNot.ca, Canadians open up their wallets for Feb. 14, even though 74 per cent of those in relationships agree they don’t care about receiving material gifts and 80 per cent agree people overspend.

The cost of the affair is $164 on average for Canadians with men outspending women by $110.

For Nanaimo stores like My Undies and Cherub Chocolate, it’s one of the busiest times of the year.

Anything in the shape of a heart is popular at Veronika McKerrell’s Commercial Street chocolate shop and she’s made sure she’s stocked with heart-shaped boxes, heart chocolates and Valentine’s-themed bars.

There’s also chestnut-puree-filled Capezzoli di Venere truffle or Nipples of Venus and the shop’s first-ever naughty chocolates, including Kama Sutra figurines.

“Love comes in all different shapes and forms, right?” asked a smiling McKerrell, who calls the naughty chocolates playful and different for those tired of traditional chocolates.

So far the response has been positive, she said, adding it makes people smile.

For My Undies, also on Commercial Street, Valentine’s is the busiest time next to Christmas.

“Valentine’s is a romantic day and it’s a day to express your feelings for someone that you love or someone that you feel sweet for, so giving lingerie is really a nice, intimate way of showing someone how you feel about them,” said Louise Whyte, sales assistant.

While some customers splurge, she said the majority look for little things as an add-on gift, like a lacy thong, boxers or thigh-high stockings and a garter.

Jim Turley, owner of Turley’s Florist, guesses people will spend an average of $80 to $100 at his store on Feb. 14. Flowers are popular because they are a thing of beauty, add cheerfulness, colour and fragrance, he said, adding a lot of people like roses but his shop has also swung into the mixed flowers with “happy” colours like pinks, mauves, whites and yellows.

“It’s a happy gift,” he said.

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