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Valentine's Data: What's Love Got to do, Got to do With It?

February 12,2015 03:54:11

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Valentine’s Day. The Day of Love. If you have ever had a significant other, you know what goes into making this day special — queue the roses and chocolates. But did you know that over $13.1 billion is spent on Valentine’s Day? That makes the hundred bucks you are planning on spending seem a little cheap, doesn’t it?


So how is that money spent? Here at BB Direct we love data and numbers, because these are the kinds of interesting love stories they tell. So to commemorate Cupid’s holiday, we did some digging into some of the numbers around our V-day spending habits, and found some interesting things. They say money can’t buy love, but the amount spent on Valentine’s Day is so large, it’s difficult to appreciate. To better visualize the consumer spending for this innocent looking holiday we’ve put together some facts, figures, and purchasing comparisons that are simply stunning.


The Purchasing Power of Infatuation


How big of a heart-shaped cash stack does $13 billion make? Enough to love someone to the moon and back? Probably big enough to buy an imperial pardon for the third-century Catholic Saint Valentine who was martyred by the Roman Emperor Claudius II for presiding over clandestine weddings at a time when the emperor wanted all young men to remain single, and available for military service. The youngsters had other things in mind like chocolate, flowers, jewelry, and wine. Oh pitter-patter.


This time of year, it is great to be in the flower, chocolate, jewelry, and wine business. These are the highest grossing industries on Valentine’s day, and for good reason. Over $400 million will be spent on roses alone. But Valentine’s Day spending is just the beginning. The events of this day can have really long-lasting effects. This one little insignificant holiday that centers around a harmless night of romance and passion has made March the biggest month of the year for home pregnancy test sales.


More wine anyone?


So what do all of these numbers mean? Well, if you are a contributing to these VD spending trends, you are likely the target of nation-wide marketing campaigns to get you to spend a little more than the average $130. Direct mail marketing will entice you with coupons, and deals. Commercials will bombard you with subtle guilt trips and visions of being the best “other half” ever. And if you are going to be making a special purchase in March, businesses are already preparing to contact you through their mailing lists to help you.


Valentine’s Day also invokes a fair amount of criticism. People call it shallow, idealized romance, or a purely commercial ploy to boost flatlining consumer spending in the aftermath of Christmas. There may be certain elements of truth in those criticisms, and that’s one way to interpret them …especially if you’re brokenhearted . Our interpretation is that people generally like wine, flowers, chocolate, jewelry, and hanky-panky pretty much year-round. So when enjoyment of those things is the order of the day, it doesn’t take much convincing to join in.