Everyone knows what happens after Valentine’s Day… people spend $20 on a heart shaped box containing six semi high quality chocolates, only to shop by the store again the day after Valentine’s and see the exact the same box of chocolates discounted for $8. Yet every year, people still subscribe to the same tradition. More times than not, the celebration falls during the work week, making the day after it after the only one for discounted candy. However, this year’s Valentine’s falls on a Friday, possibly making it a little different. Sales may last though the weekend, with retailers using the fact that the holiday falls on that particular day to their advantage to sell their goods and services to people who might be celebrating on the weekend, going out of town, or just want to pick up a little something extra the day after their celebration.
A whole weekend of Valentine’s Day instead of one day would be good for retailers, and might even be fun for lovers celebrating the holiday, but why do people buy gigantic boxes of chocolates and huge teddy bears for a day that people claim to be the most romantic day of the year? Where did Valentine’s Day come from? Here’s a brief history.
Traditionally, Valentine’s Day was known as The Feast of Saint Valentine’s Day and was in celebration of the Christian Saint, Valentinus. It wasn’t until the Middle Ages that it was associated with love, and in the 1700s, when it became an opportunity for lovers to exchange gifts with one another, showing their affection through greeting cards (Valentines), symbols of hearts and cupids, and candies and chocolates. It was adopted as a modern tradition by England in the 1800s and slowly made its way over to America throughout the 1900s and 2000s. Though it gets just as much advertisement as its equally mainstream, over-the-top-commercialized counterparts Halloween and Christmas, Valentine’s Day has always been more toned down and less of a frenzied ordeal.
That being said, the holiday still draws millions of lovers every year, giving and receiving boxes of chocolates, flowers, and teddy bears. This is why, when Valentine’s Day falls on a Friday this year, sales may last through the weekend. It would be advantageous to the retailers – and here’s why:
According to a statistics poll by CNN in 2013, the average person will spend $130.97 on Valentine’s Day in a year. People spend $1.6 billion on candy, also according to this poll, and they spend $1.9 billion on flowers, and $4.4 million on diamonds. There are 224 million red roses grown for Valentine’s Day every year, and 51% of people buy these roses. The percentage of men who choose to buy flowers for Valentine’s Day also seems to be much greater than the percentage of women who do, with men coming in at 64% and women at 36%. Finally, the total amount of spending that is done for Valentine’s Day when all is said and done? A whopping $18.6 billion.
With spending like that, if Valentine’s Day falls on Friday this year, sales may very well last through the weekend. If any Valentine’s Day lovers are out shopping a day late, they probably should not count on any discounted candy or flowers this year.
By Laura Clark