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How Valentine’s Day Helps the Economy


For many Valentine’s Day is something of a Hallmark Holiday but whether you take it seriously or not, one thing’s for certain. The money earned from all those flower, perfume, and candy sales can have powerful repercussions for the economy. Cupid will be busy this year. The ubiquitous, pudgy winged icon is expected to elicit over $14 billion in much-needed consumer spending this Valentine’s Day according to the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) 2010 Valentine’s Day Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey. That works out to approximately $103.00 on average per person for traditional Valentine’s Day purchases.

Not too shabby for a day’s work, and it’s not even his best year. According to NRF research, spending for Valentine’s Day peaked around 17 billion in 2008, when the average expression of love cost a whopping $123 per person. Since 2009, consumers have been seeking more economical ways to show their loved ones they care. (Total Valentine’s Day spending for 2009 was estimated at $14.7 billion, or $102.50 per person.)

Nonetheless, our battered economy could surely use the financial stimulation.

Wondering where people are putting all those heartfelt dollars and how all this consumerism is affecting the economy? Here is a brief rundown:



According to the NRF survey, candy will remain a popular item among consumers with 47.2% planning on purchasing candy for their valentines this year. Valentine’s Day candy sales generally account for about 4% of total yearly candy revenue according to the National Confection’s Association. Industry sales estimates for the week of Valentine’s Day in 2009 topped $448 million.


According to the Society of American Florists, Valentine’s Day is considered the busiest holiday for fresh flower sales, accounting for 40% of annual revenue. But with Valentine’s Day falling on Sunday, florists are expecting lackluster business. The NRF reports that 35.6% of consumers are still planning to buy flowers this year, and according to the industry research firm IBIS World, total flower sales should hover around $1.35 billion.



Greeting cards remain a Valentine’s Day favorite for consumers with 54.9% of those surveyed by the NRF stating that they are planning to buy them this year. According to Hallmark Research, Valentine’s Day is the second most popular time for sending greeting cards (Christmas takes the top spot), and according to IBISWorld, total greeting card sales for 2010 are estimated at $784.30 million.

Other Gifts


The weeks preceding Valentines Day generally bring a spike in jewelry sales. But all indications suggest that this year the sales of jewelry items will be sluggish as consumers continue to hold back on spending. Of those surveyed by the NRF, 15.5% of consumers will be purchasing jewelry (down from 16%), while clothing and other accessories will be sought by approximately14.4%. IBISWorld projects about $1,308 billion and $1.31 billion in sales respectively.

Eating Out

This year, 35.6% surveyed by the NRF are planning to celebrate the holiday weekend by eating out. According to IBISWorld, since Valentine’s Day comes out on Sunday, the number of consumer dollars spent on dining out is expected to increase from last year to roughly $7.86 billion.

Romantic Getaways



The holiday weekend should also see an increase in travel and local romantic getaways. IBISWorld projects Valentine’s Day travel to generate some $2.05 billion.

Other Purchases

Aside from these categories, Valentine’s Day is sure to drum up business for those who sell party favors. The sales of electronics should also see an increase as well as the sales of movie tickets.

And now a couple of things to make you go “hmmmm”…

Treats for Your Pets

According to the NRF’s survey, the average person will be spending $3.27 on their four-legged companions. Huh? No comment.

Spyware and Surveillance Equipment

Last year, USA Today reported that the demand for tracking devices and private investigators surges around Valentine’s Day as suspicious individuals try to catch their spouse’s infidelity. Whoa, way too much to comment on…

How will you be spending those Valentine’s Day dollars this year?

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