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Economics of Love | Blog

Economics of Love

Economics of Love

Saint Valentine's Day is getting closer. Many couples around the world are busily planning what to gift to their other halves, where to go, or how to spend the Day of Love. As researches show, for many years cards have been the most popular gifts for February 14th, however, the wish-list of lovers differs from the gifts received.
About 61 per cent of people worldwide celebrate Valentine's Day, though it’s not a holiday in the most of the countries. Today it's difficult to imagine the celebration of the day without exchanging gifts. Moreover, according to Retail Advertising and Marketing Association, 53 per cent of American women revealed they would dump boyfriends who did not give them anything on Valentine's Day. British women are less unforgiving: 52 per cent of them assured Valentine's Day isn't important at all, though 20 per cent still want to get a present.
What Women Want…

Man can never really understand what woman wants, especially when it comes to gifts and romantic dates, such as Valentine’s Day. According to Groupon, 80 per cent of women worldwide wish to receive “an exciting experience, something they can add to 'once-in-a-lifetime' memories with their partner and tell everyone about", for example a weekend away (29 per cent). The ideal Valentine’s Day gift for the 17 per cent of women would be car, another 13 per cent dream about spa treatment.

Going more practical and less dreaming… About 55 per cent of women want to receive dinner, 37 per cent choose flowers, 35 per cent prefer chocolates and 22 per cent insist on jewelry.

However, this wish-list can be different from one country to another. So, 85 per cent of French women want to receive a ring, 41 per cent of Americans are fine with flowers, half of Canadians prefer to have sex over receiving a gift and 27 per cent of British women would like to get lingerie (though more than half of them admit that the lingerie bought by their partners where of wrong size).
Men’s preferences
Men are simpler and more precise in their wishes; their ideal and practical wish-list coincides. More than half of the coupled-up men want to have sex. The rest prefer dinner, electronics, gift cards and clothing.

What we actually get

Cards, cards, cards… 52 per cent of all gifts bought for Valentine’s Day are greeting cards. According to the Greeting Card Association, 82 per cent of cards bought in the UK are for a partner, but 5 per cent go to children, 4 per cent to friends, and 3 per cent to parents. In total 1 billion Valentine's Day cards are exchanged worldwide.
The second most popular gift is candy. Over 8 billion candy hearts and 36 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolate were produced last year, the majority of it was sold in the six weeks around Valentine’s Day.
One-third of coupled-ups invited their other halves for dining out. It’s interesting that, some 33 per cent of diners preferred Italian cuisine as it seemed to them the most romantic, 25 per cent said the same about French cuisine.
Around 34 per cent got flowers as Valentine’s Day present. Three-quarters of the buyers were men; 14 per cent of women sent flowers to themselves. The best-selling flowers are roses – they make 42 per cent of all sold flowers, 41 per cent – mixed bouquets and 17 per cent – other flowers. According to aureusanalytics.com, last year florists grew 233 million roses only for the Day of Lovers.
Jewelry ranked fifth most popular gift in 2014, though the share of men buying it was apparently higher than the share of women. Yes, this is because it’s woman who considers a diamond as symbol of enduring love. It’s worth mentioning, that this idea was planted by an advertisement agency for DeBeers in 1938.

How much does your love cost?
In the UK, where the modern tradition of celebrating Valentine’s Day comes from, in 2014 was spent USD 13.1 billion. Americans turned to be more generous with money – they forked out USD 18.6 billion. The most economic western nation was Germany – in total Valentine’s Day expenses there reached only 6.2 billion USD.
In average men spent USD 170 on gifts for their significant others; women – USD 86, though there’s a huge difference between the Valentine’s cost in Europe and Asia. Western men gave away USD 130; women – only USD 55. As it comes to Asia, where the celebration of Valentine’s Day is a new phenomenon, men readily spent over USD 200, though Asian women also husbanded on their lovers.

The most popular (and cheap!) purchase is cards. Their cost can vary from 50 cent to USD 10. According to Hallmark, in total in 2014 greeting card companies sold cards of total worth USD 1.1 billion.

Almost a half of lovers are ready to pay up to USD 25 for candy. During Valentine’s season 2014 chocolate and candy sales reached USD 1.011 billion.

A bit more than a third of coupled-ups spend USD 75 each on a dinner out. Last year USD 3.6 billion was spent in restaurants.

As for flowers, their price can be different, though about a third gift-givers buy flowers, spending USD 40 each, which in total made USD 1.7 billion in 2014. 71 per cent of flowers were bought by men.

The most expensive gift of 2014 was jewelry. In average each buyer spent on it USD 162. So, the total income of jewelry shops equaled USD 3.5 billion.
Couples spent around USD 85 for buying clothes and lingerie. In total the industry gained 1.6 billion USD.

The least popular, the least romantic but for sure not the cheapest purchase is gift cards. Lovers spend on them USD 1.1 billion in total. An average price for such present reaches USD 65.

Partners, however, are not the only ones supposed to get a gift. More than nine million pet owners bought presents for their pets in 2014. According to Wisebread, the average person spent USD 5, letting the shops for pets earn over USD 45 million…

Those coupled-ups who don’t want to break the bank simply split up under any pretence; singletons keep repeating “I hate Valentine’s Day”. But retailers remain the only ones who are perfectly happy – they know, there are still millions celebrating the Day of Love and for sure they will buy this or that for their beloved ones, unless they want to change their Facebook status to “Single”…
 Happy coming Valentine’s Day!



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