While traditionally a day to focus on love and acceptance, Valentine’s day had some profound impacts on the American economy. It may seem obvious to expect spikes in the sales of products such as flowers, chocolate and cards during the 14th of February. Yet, these Valentine’s Day spikes reach billions of dollars every year.
According to the U.S. News and World Report, in 2013 Americans were expected to spend nearly 18 billion dollars on Valentine’s Day gifts, 4 billion of that sum estimated to be spent on jewelry. With expensive dinners and accessories, the expenses per person add up while companies providing these treats have a tremendous profit increase.
Economic statistics from Forbes show that on Valentine’s Day of 2016, Americans spent 17.55 billion dollars. Mr. Schepard, AP Economics teacher at Brooklyn Tech, stated when interviewed about such trends, “Consumer spending increases around gift giving holidays, and Valentine’s Day is a gift giving holiday. Consumer spending will go up, especially on romantically themed disposable goods like Hallmark cards, chocolates, and flowers.”
These sums are not only from disposable goods. Mariah Buccat ’17, an AP Statistics student commented on the spike in expenses, saying, “Sales would definitely increase during the Valentine’s Day season, not only from chocolate, jewelry and cards, but events such as movies and dinners. This year, the movie Deadpool, released on Valentine’s Day, would be considered a popular movie that many would attend in celebration of the holiday.”
Significant spending differences based on gender have also become apparent on Valentine’s Day. According to the National Retail Federation, the world’s largest retail trade association, men spend twice as much more money than women on the holiday. Based on the records of NRF, men will spend around $108 while women will spend an estimated $53 for the holiday.
Alyson Shontell, deputy editor affiliated with the Business Insider, CNN, Katie Couric and CNBC, states, “People will spend $1.7 billion on flowers this Valentine’s Day, 73% are bought by men, 27% by women.” Even pets get a share of some Valentine’s day love, as Shontell continues, “More than nine million pet owners are expected to buy gifts for their pets this Valentine’s Day; the average person will spend $5.04 on them.”
Valentine’s Day may not only be considered a holiday dedicated to affection, but a holiday transformed into one of consumerism, as profits for companies specializing in holiday treats and products skyrocket.