History repeating itself: men top V-Day spending

Filed under: Retail |

Historically men are the big spenders when hit by cupid’s arrow and this Valentine’s Day is no exception.

According to the National Retail Federation’s 2007 Valentine’s Day Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, conducted by BIGresearch, the average man is expected to spend $156.22, nearly double the $85.08 that the average woman will spend.

Flowers remain a popular holiday gift, with 58.3 percent of men planning to buy their sweetie some type of flower (vs. 52.3 percent in 2006).

Men also will be showering their loved ones with cards (56.7 percent), candy (42.9 percent), an evening out (53.1 percent) and jewelry (27.6 percent).

“Men continue to be the primary spenders when it comes to splurging on gifts for Valentine’s Day,” said Tracy Mullin, NRF president and CEO. “With males spending significantly more this year than females, men may be looking at Valentine’s Day as a way to make up for that HD-TV they splurged on for the Super Bowl.”

According to the survey, the average consumer will spend $119.67 for Valentine’s Day, up from $100.89 last year. With 63.4 percent of consumers planning to celebrate the holiday, total 2007 Valentine’s Day spending is expected to reach $16.90 billion.

Both sexes will be hitting the stores for that perfect gift.

Popular gifts include cards (62.8 percent), candy (48.4 percent) and flowers (36.7 percent). In addition, nearly half of consumers (45.3 percent) will treat their loved one to a special evening out.

This year consumers will dedicate the bulk of their Valentine’s Day budget to buying for their sweetheart, with the average person planning to spend $80.29 on their significant other or spouse. While overall spending for the holiday is up, consumers will be spending less on the other people in their lives, including family members ($25), friends ($4.93), children’s classmates and teachers ($3.35), and co-workers ($2.40).

Consumers aged 25-34 plan to be the most generous, with the average 25- to 34-year-old spending $164.32.

After cutting back on spending for the past two years, young adults are opening up their wallets a little wider as well. According to the survey, young adults 18-24 will spend $143.39 this Valentine’s Day, up significantly from $81.89 last year.

In addition, consumers ages 45-54, who were the big spenders last year, will spend $107.81, down from $128.78 in 2006.

The survey polled 7,703 consumers and was conducted from January 2-10.

Other Valentine’s Day facts:

  • 189 million roses were produced for Valentine’s Day in 2006, with 74 percent of rose purchases made by men, according to the Society of American Florists.
  • Valentine’s Day is the third most popular card-sending holiday behind Christmas and Father’s Day, according to the NRF.
  • According to the National Confectioners Association, about 8 billion “conversation hearts” will be produced this year; that’s enough candy to stretch from Rome, Italy to Valentine, Ariz. and back again 20 times.

Target executives inducted into advertising hall of fame

Since 1955 the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association has selected candidates for its hall of fame award.

This year, two recipients will be inducted at RAMA’s annual Retail Advertising Conference on Feb. 7-9 in Chicago.

Minda Gralnek and Eric Erickson, both vice presidents and creative directors for Target, will join the list of inductees.

As head of creative at Target, Gralnek is responsible for the company’s advertising, branding, marketing, packaging and in-store communications.

She joined Target in 1990 as a creative director and was promoted to her current position in 2002. Before joining Target, she was creative director of U.S. Communication, a marketing and promotions company whose clients included Microsoft, Apple Computers and Kraft Foods.

Prior to that, she worked at Dayton Hudson Department Stores as executive art director.

Erickson oversees advertising, package design and in-store signage for hardlines, food, financial services, human resources, internal communications and community relations.

Prior to joining Target in 1991, he worked for Dayton Hudson Department Store Co., where he began his career as an advertising copywriter.

The 2007 RAC program guest speakers include some of the industry’s most creative and innovative thinkers such as Bill Bass, co-founder and CEO of Fair Indigo; Mike Boylson, executive vice president and chief marketing officer of J.C. Penney; Tim Armstrong, vice president of advertising sales at Google, and Bob Thacker, senior vice president of marketing and advertising for OfficeMax.

U.S. chain store sales

U.S. retailers grew their sales for the week ended Jan. 20 despite the impact of cold weather. Weekly chain store sales increased 0.1 percent, according to International Council of Shopping Center’s index.

Year -over-year sales were strong, with a 4.8 percent increase.

“Sales inched up over the latest week, but were hurt by soft customer traffic due to some regional weakness as more than half of the U.S. was snow covered,” said Michael Niemira, ICSC’s chief economist and director of research.

Niemira said he expects sales to rise by 3 percent for the month.

Joan Johnson covers retail for the Colorado Springs Business Journal.