Picture of The Day

Picture of The Day
Suami-Suami Takut Istri - New Cast

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentine's Day in Economic Recession

Even as the economy crumbles, today's relatively tame Valentine's Day celebration is expected to generate some $14.7 billion in retail sales in the United States

The average U.S. consumer is expected to spend $102.50 on Valentine's Day gifts, meals, and entertainment, according to an annual U.S. National Retail Federation survey—down from $122.98 per person in 2008.

"If anything, [people] are probably scaling back on more discretionary purchases, so that they can feel comfortable spending on Valentine's Day," said Ellen Davis, the federation's vice president.

About 92 percent of married Americans with children will spend the most money on their spouses: $67.22.

The remainder goes to Valentine's Day gifts for kids, friends, co-workers, and pets, according to the survey.




Valentine's Day Cards

Greeting cards, as usual, will be the most common Valentine's Day purchases. Fifty-eight percent of American consumers plan to send at least one, according to the survey.

The Greeting Card Association, an industry trade group, says 190 million Valentine's Day cards will be sent. And that figure does not include the hundreds of millions of cards schoolchildren exchange.

"Giving your sweetheart or someone [else] a Valentine's Day card is a deep-seated cultural tradition in the United States," said association spokesperson Barbara Miller. "We don't see that changing."

The first Valentine's Day card was sent in 1415 from France's Duke of Orléans to his wife when he was a prisoner in the Tower of London following the Battle of Agincourt, according to the association.

Valentine's Day cards—mostly handwritten notes—gained popularity in the U.S. during the Revolutionary War. Mass production started in the early 1900s.

Hallmark got in the game in 1913, according to spokesperson Sarah Kolell. Since then—perhaps not coincidentally—the market for Valentine's Day cards has blossomed beyond lovers to include parents, children, siblings, and friends.


Valentine's Day Candy: Cash Cow

An estimated 45.8 percent of U.S. consumers will exchange Valentine's Day candy, according to the retail federation survey—adding up to a sweet billion dollars in sales, the National Confectioners Association says.

About 75 percent of that billion is from sales of chocolate, which has been associated with romance at least since Mexico's Aztec Empire, according to Susan Fussell, a spokesperson with the association.

Fifteenth-century Aztec emperor Moctezuma I believed "eating chocolate on a regular basis made him more virile and better able to serve his harem," she said.

But there's nothing chocolaty about Valentine's Day's most iconic candy: those demanding, chalky little hearts emblazoned "BE MINE," "KISS ME," "CALL ME."

About eight billion candy hearts will be made in 2009, the association says—enough to stretch from Rome, Italy, to Valentine, Arizona, and back again 20 times.



1 comment: