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Merchants Love The Valentine Season

This weekend, many Canadians will get to enjoy their first long weekend of the year. And while the weekend will be extended by Family Day on Monday, couples throughout the country are preparing for a romantic Valentine’s Day on Sunday. If previous sales figures are any indication, Valentine’s Day is a popular reason for shopping.

Merchants throughout Canada likely fall in love with consumers at this time of year as the special day commemorating love relationships bring in a lot of business. As the QMI Agency’s Sharon Singleton reports today, Valentine’s Day is a surefire booster of sales for “flowers, chocolates, champagnes and lingerie, not to mention providing a boost to restaurants, which often feature special menus at special prices.”

According to Singleton, consumers in the United States spend up to $14 billion on Valentine’s Day. And while last year’s recession impacted sales somewhat, retail groups are expecting for sales in both Canada and the U.S. to pick up this year. However, sales of larger scale items like diamonds are not expected to see much of a boost.

For florists, on the other hand, Valentine’s Day is easily the most important day of the year. As Singleton reports, citing as a reference, 20 per cent of all flowers sold during the year take place during Valentine’s Day.

According to the U.S. National Retail Federation,s 2010 Consumer Intention & Actions survey, says Singleton, “about 29% of adults purchased flowers last year as a Valentine’s Day gift, with almost two-thirds of those being men. This year about 36% of consumers plan to celebrate with flowers.”

As popular a gift as flowers are, chocolate and candy sales also see a spike during this time of year. In the U.S., reports Singleton, upwards of $935 million a year is spent on the sweet stuff. Of that amount, one-third is spent on Valentine’s Day purchases. Only Halloween and Easter see greater sales of chocolate than February 14th.

A Wal-Mart Canada survey reports that 60 per cent of Canadians buy Valentine’s Day gifts, with most of them spending under $50. Interestingly, the survey also found that men and Ontario residents are last minute shoppers while Quebecers are usually the first to begin shopping.

As well, “in Western Canada, roses are popular, while in Eastern Canada teddy bears dominate gift choices.” Our American counterparts, however, generally spend $103 on Valentine’s Day gifts….men will spend nearly twice the amount women spend on the holiday. The average man plans to shell out $135.35 to impress the people in his life while women only expect to spend $72.28.

Take that ladies! Nevertheless, business owners selling gifts that are right for the occasion are in for a great weekend. The love relationships that are being honored this weekend are sure to help garner love from merchants who will be only too happy to supply the gifts being purchased. How romantic.

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