Report: V-Day To Be A Mighty Challenge

Research firm IBISWorld has released its annual Valentine’s Day sales forecasts. This year, IBISWorld expects total Valentine’s Day spending to be up 3.3 percent from 2009. Unfortunately, because Valentine’s Day falls on a Sunday, IBISWorld anticipates consumers to move from traditional gift giving – like flowers – toward dining out.

“Because Valentine’s Day lands on a Sunday, restaurants are likely to gain traffic throughout the entire weekend,” says Toon van Beeck, senior analyst with IBISWorld. “Furthermore, because President’s Day is on the following Monday, many consumers will be able to travel over the three-day weekend, further boosting restaurant sales.”

2009 (millions) 2010 (millions) Change from 2009-2010
Dining out $7,863.50 $8,508.30 8.20%
Romantic getaway $2,001.00 $2,047.00 2.30%
Greeting cards $770.40 $784.30 1.80%
Clothing & intimate apparel $1,106.90 $1,126.80 1.80%
Candy $2,499.30 $2,466.80 -1.30%
Jewelry $1,371.80 $1,308.60 -4.60%
Flowers $1,425.00 $1,355.20 -4.90%
Total $17,037.90
$17,597.10 3.30%

With consumers dining out and traveling, IBISWorld reports Valentine’s Day will not be as joyous for retailers. Men will typically buy flowers during the work week but because the holiday falls on a Sunday, they will not feel as much pressure to purchase by Valentine’s Day. As a result, they are not as likely to take the time on the weekend to shop, opting instead for a romantic dinner out.

“Many retailers will see Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to kick start the New Year, but the unemployment rate and continued uncertainty of the economic recovery will hamper growth and expansion,” van Beeck says. “This, combined with the fact that the holiday is a discretionary purchase, IBISWorld expects customers to remain on the shopping sidelines for the second consecutive year.”

Research from the Society of American Florists shows Sunday is the worst day for florists on Valentine’s Day, making this year’s sales especially bleak. IBISWorld expects florists to counter the Sunday Valentine’s Day by pushing early promotions in an attempt to increase orders and building sales throughout the week leading up to the weekend holiday – opposed to just a day or two beforehand.

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