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Love is in the air Saturday

By By Arthur McLean Managing Editor
With Valentine's day around the corner, area businesses are showing the colors of love.
Hearts, charms, teddy bears in red and pink and, of course, flowers were coloring local retailers shelves this week in anticipation of the romantic Saturday.
At Country Charms, Heather Wardrop said letter jewelry and teddy bears seemed to be the early favorits as gifts this year.
Edith Beans of The Beans Store, said she was stocked and ready with Valentine's treats, but shoppers were usually last-minute for Valentine's Day. "It's something people don't want to keep around the house," she said.
And men always seemed to procrastinate when buying those special gifts for that special someone, the retailers agreed.
Area florists were already busy, however, with several deliveries made during the week, and all were expecting a rush of business by Thursday.
Roses are still the big favorite when it comes to Valentine's Day, saod Shannon Cooper of Shannon's in Atmore.
"Roses, Roses, Roses," she exclaimed. "Roses Tulips and balloons are always popular."
Area merchants said their best bets for gifts under $20 were special gift baskets, teddy bears, silver jewelry and flowers.
Springing for the traditional roses will cost a bit more, however. Area prices ranged from $55 to $65 for a dozen long-stem roses, but florists said they could incorporate roses and other flowers into less expensive arrangements.
The top three gifts for Valentine's day are still flowers, chocolates and stuffed animals, according to a survey by 1-800-flowers.
The survey also showed that 31 percent of those planning to get Valentine's gifts were getting them for children, and 16 percent would be buying Valentine's gifts for friends.
A.C. Moore teacher Stephanie Emmons was one of those who received a Valentine's gift from a friend. Her surprise bouquet of roses arrived Monday.
She faired better than most teachers, according to American Greetings.
American Greetings said cards are the top item given for Valentine's Day. The most popular recipients of Valentine's cards were teachers.
Studies show that men tend to buy Valentine's gifts much later than women, but they also spend more, by nearly $90, according to the International Mass Retailers Association.