Consumers Tone Down Valentine’s Day Plans

February 5, 2010

This article is included in these additional categories:

Analytics, Automated & MarTech | Men | Retail & E-Commerce | Women

US consumers plan to observe Valentine’s Day this February 14, but will spend less and stay home while doing so, according to the Brand Keys Customer Loyalty Engagement Index.

Ninety-three percent of respondents indicate they plan to observe the Valentine’s Day holiday this year. However, spending levels will drop about 5% for both men and women. Men plan to spend an average of $133 this year (compared to $140 in 2009), and women plan to spend $72 (compared to $75 last year).


Less Expensive Gifts are More Popular

Gift-giving has skewed away from expensive presents like jewelry and
larger gift cards to smaller, less expensive, more intimate gifts. A total of 85% of respondents plan to give cards (95% of men and 75% of women).


A very wide gender gaps exists in the second-most popular gift category overall, dinner/entertainment/events. While 58% of respondents overall plan to spend in this category, by gender it breaks down to 88% of men and 28% of women. Similarly, the traditional Valentine’s gift of flowers only ranks fourth overall with 45% of respondents, but that breaks down to 75% of men and 15% of women.

Jewelry came in sixth overall, with 15% of respondents planning to spend money in this category. That breaks down to 25% of men and only 5% of women.

Although gift cards were the third-most popular category overall, with 55% of respondents planning to purchase them, according to Brand Keys, the purchase of gift cards has slightly declined during the past two years after doubling in the previous five years.

Men and Women Share Favorite Activities

Although men and women had some sharp differences in what they will spend money on this Valentine’s Day, they are in agreement about what activities they will take part in. Both men and women gave the same responses in three of the top four holiday activities. Stereotypically, more men (35%) than women (25%) said they plan to stay home, the fourth-most popular activity overall.


Dream Dates Skew Young

When asked to name a celebrity dream date for Valentine’s Day, the top dream date for women, “Twilight” film series star Robert Pattinson, turns 24 in May, and men’s top dream date, film actress Scarlett Johansson, recently turned 25.

Retailers Bump Up Valentine’s Email Promotions

Promotional retail email activity will likely grow in the next two weeks as the Valentine’s Day holiday (February 14) approaches. Valentine’s Day should also continue growing in dominance of promotional retail email subject matter. From being mentioned in virtually 0% of promotional retail emails the week ending January 8, 2009, Valentine’s Day steadily increased to being mentioned in more than 20% of promotional retail emails the week ending January 29, 2009, according to Chad White, research director at Responsys and author of the Retail Email Blog.

Easter Beats Valentine’s for Candy Sales
Nearly 71 million pounds of chocolate candy is sold during the week leading up to Easter. By comparison, only 48 million pounds of chocolate candy is sold during Valentine’s week. Halloween sees the most chocolate candy sales, with nearly 90 million pounds of chocolate candy sold in the last week of October.

About the Survey: Brand Keys surveyed 1,200 men and 1,200 women 18-60 years of age drawn from the nine Census regions of the US in its bi-annual Customer Loyalty Engagement Index.

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