Feb 142015
 

Ever wonder just how much you are willing to spend on Valentines for the love of your life? On February 14th, some would say “show me da money.” When it comes to Valentine’s Day spending, American consumers lead the world.

An average American consumer will spend $142.31 in 2015, says Sweetworks and the National Retail Federation. In fact, annual consumer spending on Valentine’s Day is growing. Average spending per person was $109.50 in 2009, gradually increasing to $103 in 2010, $116.21 in 2011, $126.03 in 2012, $130.97 in 2013, $133.91 in 2014, and finally to $142.31 in 2015.

Remarkably, grand total Valentine’s Day retail sales across America are expected to top $19 billion in 2015 compared to $18.6 billion spent in 2014, according to Sweetworks, BIGInsight, and the National Retail Federation.


Men spend on average $193.53, almost twice as much as women at $96.58 on average, in asking them to “please be my Valentine.”

American lovers will splash out $4.8 billion on jewelry (at 21.1 percent of consumers in 2015), $4.6 billion on date nights (at 35.1 percent of consumers), $2.1 billion on flowers (or 37.8 percent of consumers), and $1.7 billion on candy sweets for their sweeties (or 53.2 percent of consumers).

Valentine’s Day isn’t just for couples, as 21.2 percent of Americans will spend in 2015 a grand total of $703 million on their pets! In addition, 91.1 percent of Valentine gifts are given today to a significant other, 59 percent to other family members, 22 percent to friends, 20 percent to our children’s classmates and teachers, 19 percent to our pets, 12 percent to our co-workers, and 9 percent to whoever we wish to show a little secret love and appreciation towards on Valentine’s Day this year.

By comparison to last Valentine’s Day 2014, few countries come close to this February holiday spending by American consumers. Total average spending amounted to $18.6 billion in 2014. Of this, $9.67 billion was spent on meals, $2.89 billion on candy, $2.35 billion on romantic getaways, $1.78 billion on flowers, $1.62 billion on jewelry, $1.26 billion on clothing and lingerie (primarily from Victoria Secrets), and finally $0.87 billion on Valentine cards.

On Valentine’s Day 2014, Americans spent an average of $73.75 on their significant other, while men continued to spend far more than women to keep the peace and tranquility in the homestead. Average Valentine’s Day expenditure in 2014 amounted to $175.61 for men and $88.78 for women.

Like in 2015, Americans spent $367 million on Valentine’s Day gifts for their pets in 2014. In addition, 56 percent of Valentine gifts given last year were to a romantic sweetheart, 20 percent to other family members, 7 percent to friends, 5 percent to our children’s classmates and teachers, 4 percent to our pets, 4 percent to our co-workers, and 4 percent to whoever we showed some love to on Valentine’s Day last year.

Above all, the conveniences of millennial age e-commerce mobile wireless communication devices drive Valentine’s Day consumer behavior and spending, as 46.9 percent of lovers use their smart tablets and phablets to purchase or research Valentine gifts. Whereas, 40.7 percent of romantic couples use their smartphones to shop for Valentine sweets for their sweeties on this day to “show me some mo love” and “show me da money!”

Origins of Valentine’s Day

The background of Valentine’s Day, as a pagan fesitival in February, and “the story of its patron saint is shrouded in secret.”

“We do know that February has long been celebrated as a month of romance, and that St. Valentine’s Day, as we know it today, contains vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman historic.

“But, who was Saint Valentine, and how did he become associated with this ancient rite? The Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred.

“One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II arranged that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death.”

Valentines day is world day of love, where people are sharing in forgiveness. Although the origins of St. Valentine’s Day, as we know the holiday today, can be trace back to an early liturgical celebration of early Christian saints, the day was first associated with romantic love during the high Middle Ages, according to Wikipedia.

“In 18th century England, it evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards.”

Nonetheless, true love should be expressed 365 days a year. For love expressed everyday is four things. It is understanding between two people; it is about how two people in love and romance cooperate not compete with each other; it is about empathy felt between two people, actually walking inside each other shoes at all times; and most of all, it is about trust held among two people at all costs.

Valentine’s Day is love and romance in its most intimate sense. This February holiday holds special sentiment in the hearts and souls of women. Nevertheless, men would be remiss, if they did not recognize their sweethearts on this particular holiday. This is a day for men to display romantic love to women.

For Valentine’s Day is the ultimate expression of chivalry, a gesture of love and respect that romantic couples display towards each other at a time when men sometimes have had to suppress these cherished norms of emotion and feelings. This is a heartfelt essence even spiritual sense of emotional intelligence.

It allows us for a moment to act upon our feelings and natural tendencies, instead of focusing on sterile business etiquette or even political correctness, or better still, our $19 billion spent annually surrounding our expressions of love and romance. Valentine’s Day is the ultimate private holiday celebration in February, whereby “men can be men,” and “women can be women.”

Photo Credits: Peanuts by Charles M. Shultz; Statista Infographic; Statista Infographic; Desilu2 and Lucille Ball Productions

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