The Business of Romance – Valentines Day

valentines 14

This year, February 14th, Valentines Day, falls on a Saturday – this won’t happen again until 2026!

Some people think Valentines Day is the most romantic day of the year. Other’s not so much. Some may dismiss it as a big business holiday event for florists, restaurants and retailers. In 2014, Valentine’s Day was estimated to contribute around $17.3 billion to the economy.

Has commercialization (and expectations?) spoiled Valentines Day?

The Huffingpost published comments on a poll conducted by The National Retail Federation in early January 2014 about consumer Valentine’s Day spending plans. Although 54% anticipated spending slightly more than the previous year on on candy, cards, dinner and gifts.

valentine $Some of the findings included:

  • Men spend a lot more than women: $113.34 vs. $56.97 (men continue to earn more than women)
  • Annual salaries $50,000+ spend $95.21  vs. $64.65 for salaries less than $50,000
  • Younger people spend more. Between 25-34 years of age the estimate is $114.46, followed by 18-24 spending approximately $104.15. Those age 65+ spend approximately $58.45 each

According to one estimate, 60% of all Valentine’s spending occurs in the five days leading up to and including the holiday. That means we’re in the prime Valentine’s spending period right now. With cupid’s arrow falling on a Saturday this year, heading into a long weekend, marketers are likely rubbing their hands together as you read this!

What else have we learned about Valentines Day?

Valentine's day vintage look.Like anything else, Valentine’s sales fluctuate with the economy. Having said that certain industries, such as florists, confectionery and greeting cards, do experience noticeably busier period and ‘bump’ in sales – particularly depending on what day of the week Valentine’s falls on.

Banks, retailers and publications (Business Insider) have conducted surveys to gather some rather interesting “facts” about Valentines Day. Various reports indicate:

  • Men expect their partner will spend $230 on a gift for them, while women only expect $196
  • Dating or engaged couples spend $20 to $30 more than married couples
  • Most people are pleased with the gifts they receive – approximately 63% of people thought their significant other was a “great gift-giver”
  • Approximately 1/3 of romantics give flowers
  • More than 50% send greeting cards- Valentine’s ranks right behind Christmas for sales volume
  • Almost 40% celebrate with an evening out
  • Approximately 11.6% of couples celebrate with a romantic getaway
  • Practical gifts like clothes or electronics were less popular and fall in at just over 15%
  • About 18% of people in relationships were planning on spending $0 on their partner
  • Approximately 20% purchase something “sparkly” – wedding proposals?
  • In the province of Saskatchewan diamonds and engagement ring sales are up 55% , followed closely by Quebec with an increase of 49%
  • Canadian Country Manager for eBay stated that a purchase for 2 – seven-karat loose cut diamonds were sold for $28,000!

valentines dayAnd don’t think that Valentine’s Day is just for couples! Many “show the love” for family members (59.4%) friends (21.7%) teachers (20.4%) and colleagues (12.1%). It was estimated last year that $53.68 US dollars was spent just on co-workers alone!

What about the fur family? Not to be overlooked is the appreciation for the unconditional love of Spot, Fido and Fluffy. Pet presents fall in at approximately 19.4 percent of gift buying – as it should be!

Not to be overlooked, February 14th (or February 15th – it is really up to you and your friends) happens to be Single Awareness Day.Singles Awareness (or Appreciation) Day is a humorous holiday celebrated as an alternative to Valentine’s Day. Some may choose to spend the day the same way the early Romans did. But let’s not go there.

A few fun (and affordable) Valentines Day ideas to toss around

  • Send a candy / card combo gift by spelling out your message with modern day candy heart treats such as “Tweet Me,” “Text Me,” “You Rock,” “Soul Mate,” “Love Bug,” and “Me + You,” “Recipe 4 Love,” “Table 4 Two,” and “Top Chef.”
  • How about Chocolate Stout? Granville Island Brewery has a Gold Medal international award winning brew called Imperial Chocolate Stout. Craft Beer Market (Olympic Village) features Storm Black Plague Stout
  • Traditional jelly beans have taken on a new life. Jelly Belly now has the world’s first beer flavored jelly beans and offers a 20-flavor Valentine’s Day Gift Box – online
  • And for the DIYers, how about a group date at someone’s house and everyone is challenged to create photos using every filter in Instagram or every film style in Hipstamatic?
  • Shoppers will be using their mobile devices to share their love on-the-go.   Many will turn to their tablets or smartphones before making their final gift decisions; 24 percent will research products and retailers, compare prices  and redeem coupons on their smartphones and 32.2 percent will do so on their tablets. Online Valentine’s Day gift buying reports – listen to this

happy valentinesFor a feel good story about celebrating Valentines Day, listen to this.

“Love doesn’t have a price tag on it, but all its accessories has.”

~ Unknown

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