Businesses prepared for last-minute Valentine's Day customers - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Businesses prepared for last-minute Valentine's Day customers

Valentine's Day is Feb. 14. (Source: WALB) Valentine's Day is Feb. 14. (Source: WALB)
Edible Arrangements in Albany has seen a flood of orders in the past few days. (Source: WALB) Edible Arrangements in Albany has seen a flood of orders in the past few days. (Source: WALB)
Milan Patel (Source: WALB) Milan Patel (Source: WALB)
Allen Vanhook (Source: WALB) Allen Vanhook (Source: WALB)
Vanhook sees dozens of customers at his pop-up shop on North Slappey. (Source: WALB) Vanhook sees dozens of customers at his pop-up shop on North Slappey. (Source: WALB)
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Business across Albany are ready for Valentine's Day.

"Valentine's Day is like a great time for this business, it's like our Christmas," said Milan Patel, managing partner of Edible Arrangements.

Phone call after phone call and order after order, the fresh fruit bouquet shop on North Westover Boulevard is prepared for one of it's busiest days of the year. 

The shop is just around 100 days old and new to Albany, but Patel says they're ready.

"You're definitely having to ramp up for the business and with that being said, this is the first true test," he said.

The National Retail Federation expects consumers to spend more than $18 billion this Valentine's Day. Patel says the store has already filled hundreds of orders, but he won't be surprised to see hundreds more come in on Tuesday.

"It's a last minute holiday, right?" he said. "It'll be 'I need something for my significant -- what do you have?' And you have to see if you can accommodate them."

And across Albany on North Slappey, accommodating last-minute shoppers is nothing new to Allen Vanhook. 

"We'll be out here at 6 o'clock in the morning ready for anyone who forgot about it," Vanhook said.

He's expecting hundreds to stop by on Valentine's Day to what he calls his "Quick Stop Valentine Shop."

"It gets packed. It's in and out real fast. Make their choices quick," he said.

After 12 years in the business, Vanhook and his sister, who serves as his business partner, are ready to handle the influx of last minute shoppers looking for that perfect gift for that special someone.

"They always wait til the last minute to get it, but they'll get it. And everybody will be happy," he said.

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