The Valentine’s Day Business: It’s Definitely Not All About Love
It is not just lovers who make the most of Valentine’s Day. The festival means mega bucks for traders too.
It’s Valentine’s Day, a time for many otherwise sluggish markets to make big bucks from the pockets of the love-lorn.
When did Valentine’s Day Become so Commercial?
People started celebrating Valentine’s Day sometime during mid 18th century, when lovers sent sweets and cards adorned with flowers, ribbons and images of cupid and birds to each other.
Eventually, printed cards replaced hand-written ones. In 1913, Hallmark Cards of Kansas City began mass producing Valentine’s Day cards.
Today, about a billion Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged every year, making it the second largest card-sending time of the year.
Total Spending Expected to Reach $18.9 Billion in the US: Survey
According to the National Retail Federation’s 2016 Valentine’s Day consumer survey conducted by Prosper Insights and Analytics of the USA, 54.8 percent of consumers will celebrate Valentine’s Day.
The survey also found that the average person celebrating Valentine’s Day will spend $142.31 this year on candy, flowers, apparel and more, up from $133.91 last year.
Chocolates are a Sweet Business
Projected sales of Valentine’s Day candy in the US stand at $1.1 billion for 2016.
At the iconic Li-Lac chocolate factory, sales were pegged at around $250,000 in the Valentine week alone. That’s 500-600 percent more than an average week.
Indian Lovers Woo and Get Wooed
Last year ASSOCHAM (the Associated Chambers of Commerce & Industry of India) had pegged the estimated volume of business with record sales of V-Cards and popular gift items at Rs 22,000 crore. The estimates for this year are high too.
India is also exporting 19 million stems of roses in February, compared to 17 million stems a year ago, according to Praveen Sharma, president of Indian Society of Floriculture Professionals.
Markets Love the Lovers
Uber users in eight Indian cities (Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, Pune and Ahmedabad) were offered a chance to book a free weekend getaway via a special Musafir button on the Uber app, which was to go live between 10 am and 12 pm on 12 February.
Online is the Way Ahead
In the run-up to Valentine’s Day, online marketplace Snapdeal has witnessed a five times increase in sales in categories such as fragrances, soft toys and lingerie, reports The Times of India.
Condom-makers Make a Killing Too
Ten days ahead of Valentine’s Day, Thailand launched a campaign urging citizens to get used to carrying condoms, as it battles a reluctance to use protection in the fight against HIV and teen pregnancies. Valentine’s Day is the usual time of year for Thai authorities to warn against premarital sex, but this time the emphasis is on protection rather than prohibition. Health authorities distribute about 40 million free condoms every year.
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