Valentine’s Day is a well documented and historic event, starting in the third century, when after being jailed for arranging marriage ceremonies for soldiers, St Valentine sent a card to his jailer’s daughter, signing off as “from your Valentine”. Valentine’s Day is a time for romance, for us to tell those special to us how much and in what way we love them.
Retail history of Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s day did not become a day to spend money until the nineteenth century when Valentine’s Day cards became a commercial venture. Whilst Valentine’s Day is not a gimmick, it is a festival leveraged by marketers for profit. In the USA, winter is normally not an ideal time to go shopping because of the cold and rain. Also, with Christmas in the very recent past, corporations try and make us spend money at the quietest time in the retail calendar.
Facts and Figures on Valentine’s Day gifts cost
Here are some fact and figures about Valentine’s day gifts cost and prices from the USA from 2016. According to the National Retail Federation, the facts show that roughly fifty-five percent of Americans celebrate Valentine’s Day, and total spending on Valentine’s Day 2016 was a record-breaking 19.7 billion dollars (in 2006 the figure was 13.6 billion dollars). Of that total, nine billion dollars was spent almost equally between jewelry and romantic nights out. 4 billion dollars was almost equally split between clothing and flowers with gift cards and gift experiences completing the list. The money spend for cards was just over one billion dollars, with people relying on the words composed by a professional writer to tell their Valentine how they feel about them. Whilst these are the financial results, the most popular Valentine’s Day gifts after a card (two-hundred million cards delivered) was followed closely by candy, with boxed heart-shaped chocolates the clear favourite. Flowers (including a quarter of a million individual red roses) and dining out were Valentine’s Day gifts bought by over a third with jewelry, clothing, gift cards and other gifts falling below twenty percent each. It is expected that in future years experience gifts will continue to rise in popularity. Despite the rise in popularity of electronic goods, the facts show these Valentine’s day gifts have yet to break the billion dollar barrier.
Who buys Valentine’s Day gifts?
Just over ninety percent of those buying Valentine’s Day gifts do so for their significant others. Young adults are more likely to spend the most money on Valentine’s Day gifts. Facts show that adults aged between 25 and 35 years old had a money spend average of well over two-hundred dollars, more than double the fifty-five and over age groups Valentine’s Day gifts cost. Men have a far more lavish money spend than women, almost double the amount of their female counterparts. Over the last 5 years, the amount spent by each has increased, with each gender spending approximately 10 percent more than they did in 2011. People in relationships tend to spend more on Valentines Day than those unattached. People who are dating having a money spend average of forty-nine dollars for Valentine’s Day gifts. Once engaged, people spend a bit less and those married spend even less, partly due to almost half of married couples staying at home on Valentine’s Day and almost a fifth not spending any money on their partner at all.
Where purchases are made
Whilst it is clear the USA is a nation full of romantics, many love a good bargain too. Whilst just over one third purchased their Valentine’s Day gifts in a department store, just under one-third of money spend was recorded in discount stores. Online shopping has also increased in 2016, up to twenty-eight percent. Florists came in fourth place, having been frequented by twenty percent of shoppers, followed by speciality stores at nineteen percent.
It is not all about romance
It is not just romantic partners who feel the love on this holiday. Unlike the UK, the USA and many other countries consider Valentine’s Day to be a holiday to show your love to other people, not just your significant other. What may appear unusual is that many single people will not let being unattached stop them from celebrating Valentine’s Day. Fourteen percent of single people bought themselves flowers as Valentine’s Day gifts. Single people will spend an average of thirty-seven dollars, probably on a night out, which single people are more likely to do on Valentine’s Day than their married counterparts. American’s spend an average of just under twenty-eight dollars each on Valentine’s day gifts for family members, children’s teachers and classmates and co-workers. More than twenty percent of American’s bought Valentine’s Day gifts for their special pets, with an average money spend just over 5 dollars on each. Together, this gained retailers over seven hundred million dollars in 2016. The average money spend by the nation on classmates and teachers was over 6 dollars, usually on candy.