Some local businesses are "ringing" up big sales despite COVID-19 restrictions.

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Some local businesses are "ringing" up big sales despite COVID-19 restrictions.

And they may have Cupid to thank.

Joe Nemeth, owner of Nemeth Diamonds, said engagement rings have been a popular purchase, especially as Valentine's Day approaches.

"(This) is usually a good time of the year, although we found that this year is even more so," he said. "People are realizing what is more important and it brings people closer together."

Joe Nemeth and and his daughter Michelle show off a selection of diamond rings at Nemeth Diamonds. Engagement rings have been selling well this year at the shop. (Ruth Bonneville / Winnipeg Free Press)

Joe Nemeth and and his daughter Michelle show off a selection of diamond rings at Nemeth Diamonds. Engagement rings have been selling well this year at the shop. (Ruth Bonneville / Winnipeg Free Press)

Nemeth said jewellers were struggling during the Christmas holidays because code-red public-health restrictions barred customers from visiting the store in person.

"It’s difficult to shop from photos," he said. "You have to actually touch it, feel it, see the person, really."

After restrictions were loosened last week allowing him to reopen, sales have slowly started to increase, he said, adding business continues to face uncertainty.

"You can’t look beyond a week," he said. "It’d be nice to be able to have some kind of stability and some confidence in moving forward."

Chocolatier Constance Popp becomes especially busy a couple of days prior to Feb. 14, with last-minute shoppers dropping by to pick up seasonal treats such as Heart Chocolate Bombs, Caramel Marshmallow Sea Salt Hearts and decadent truffles.

If you've got a few bucks to spare, this diamond engagement ring can be yours for $12,000 at Nemeth Diamonds. (Ruth Bonneville / Winnipeg Free Press)

If you've got a few bucks to spare, this diamond engagement ring can be yours for $12,000 at Nemeth Diamonds. (Ruth Bonneville / Winnipeg Free Press)

"It’s the only time of year that we have lineups in our shop," said owner Constance Menzies.

"We’ll see if people will be deterred with the (25 per cent) capacity (restrictions) and then also with the cold, cold weather because people will have to wait outside before they can come in."

Constance Popp can allow four customers inside store at a time and are hoping shoppers will browse online before visiting to minimize wait times.

"Every year we do something new," said Menzies, adding the store has hired "a local celebrity" to play Cupid and hand-deliver chocolates around the city.

"I don’t take Valentine’s seriously… but it’s an excuse for us to make interesting chocolate that we wouldn’t normally be able to."

Floral Fixx owner Julie Myers says despite the uncertainty about whether her shop would be open for Valentine’s Day, she ordered the same number of flowers she usually would. (Mikaela MacKenzie / Winnipeg Free Press)

Floral Fixx owner Julie Myers says despite the uncertainty about whether her shop would be open for Valentine’s Day, she ordered the same number of flowers she usually would. (Mikaela MacKenzie / Winnipeg Free Press)

Menzies said she and her team have been preparing for Sunday for about a month, churning out thousands of bonbons last weekend alone.

Floral Fixx owner Julie Myers said despite her uncertainty about whether her shop would be open for Valentine’s Day, she ordered the same number of flowers she usually would more than a month ago.

"Thousands and thousands of stems have come in for Valentine’s Day," said Myers.

"It tends to be an occasion where a lot of clients just walk in the store that day, so that’s going to be a different experience for us, because we’re not going to be able to have the lineup of gentlemen that we usually have in our store.

"I would typically say almost 50 per cent of the sales come actually on Valentine’s Day or the day before… which is scary for me."

fpcity@freepress.mb.ca