Friday, February 12, 2010

Valentine's Day and money

Last year, the global recession took some of the passion out of Valentine’s Day purchases. This year, with the economy in both Canada and North America out of recession, sales are expected to improve, according to retail groups. That said, it’s unlikely that consumers will be splurging on diamonds, with more practical items such as sweaters likely to be on the gift list. For florists, it’s the most important day of the year as most like to say it with fresh flowers. About a fifth of all flowers sold during the year are for Valentine’s Day, representing about a quarter of florists’ annual revenue, according to website 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, according to the U.S. National Retail Federation’s 2010 Consumer Intention & Actions survey. In the U.S., chocolate and candy sales will climb to an estimated $935 million this year from $928 million last year, according to the National Confectioners’ Association. About one-third of that amount will be spent on Valentine’s Day purchases, with chocolate being the most popular gift. The most romantic day of the year is the most important for the confectionery industry after Easter and Halloween. In Canada, 60% of Canadians will buy a gift with the majority spending less than $50, according to a Walmart Canada survey. It found men and Ontario residents are last-minute shoppers, while Quebecers are the first to start planning. In Western Canada, roses are popular, while in Eastern Canada teddy bears dominate gift choices, Walmart said. The average person in the U.S. will shell out $103 on traditional Valentine’s Day merchandise this year, similar to last year’s $102.50, according to the NRF survey. However, in the U.S., where the recession had a bigger impact on consumers than here in Canada, the slight increase in spending will come from consumers spending more on friends and family, rather than spouses, the survey found. As in previous years, 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



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