Men Put Money Where Their Hearts Are

Discussion
Feb 03, 2006
George Anderson

By George Anderson


Research from the customer loyalty research consultancy Brand Keys shows that, when it comes to demonstrating love and affection in retail purchases, men are more romantic than women on Valentine’s Day.


Regardless of which gender gets the most romantic award, Brand Keys’ president Robert Passikoff said the holiday is growing in importance for retailers because the criteria for who should receive a gift continues to expand.


“More and more gifts being exchanged between friends and family, all in the name of St. Valentine,” said Mr. Passikoff. This trend, he added, “turned Valentine’s Day into a major retail holiday about four years ago.”


One of the factors that has increased the gifts given on Valentine’s Day has been gift card redemption.


“This year we’re seeing consumers report higher after-Christmas redemption rates of gifts cards going for purchases for the closest major holiday, Valentine’s Day. The event gets bigger every year,” he said. “And this year the average price placed on love is $113.00.”


The $113 average is driven, according to Brand Key’s’ research by the average $145 put down by men. By comparison, women spend an average of $81 on the holiday.


Brand Key’s Top 10 List of Gifts includes:



    1. Greeting Cards – 80 percent

    2. Dinner/Entertainment Events – 55 percent

    3. Candy – 45 percent

    4. Flowers – 43 percent

    5. Gift Certificate/Card – 35 percent

    6. Jewelry – 25 percent

    7. Stuffed Animals/Balloons – 15 percent

    8. Lingerie/Clothes – 13 percent

    9. Perfume/Cologne – 10 percent

    10. Books – seven percent




(% of total people who said they were giving gifts)



The National Retail Federation pegs the average consumer spending at $100.89 for Valentine’s Day, with men spending more ($135.67) than women ($68.64). Total spending for the holiday this year is expected to reach $13.70 billion compared to $13.19 last year.


Moderator’s Comment: How will Valentine Day sales this year compare to 2005? Which retailers have impressed you with the most unusual or innovative advertising
and/or merchandising programs for Valentine’s Day in the past?

George Anderson – Moderator

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.

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9 Comments on "Men Put Money Where Their Hearts Are"


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Michael L. Howatt
Guest
Michael L. Howatt
15 years 27 days ago

Let’s just cut to the chase here. It’s all about sex. Men are less inhibited when it comes to shopping these days, and they know if they don’t fork up a good gift on Valentine’s day, they’re cut off. Men spend more because the holiday is MUCH more important to women.

Stephan Kouzomis
Guest
Stephan Kouzomis
15 years 27 days ago
As long as there is man and woman on this earth, there will always be new and creative ways to show their feelings and love to each other. A short weekend trip to a winery, or ski resort, and other ways to Valentize, if you will, your special friend or spouse. More and more money will be spent. The ‘V’ Day should remind us of our favorite partner, and what they mean to us. Where would we be without them? Would we be happy in our individual lives? Show your happiness, and spend. Many know, in this busy world of ours, the male/female executive will spend more to say thank you for the many times you were understanding when he/she came home late from work; missed a special family event; promised to be at a PTA meeting, to rush in as it was ending; and more. But, do we men need a special day like ‘V’ Day to celebrate with our favorite partner? Don’t think so…even though it has been reported men spend more. Why… Read more »
Camille P. Schuster, PhD.
Guest
15 years 27 days ago

Has anyone looked at the choices of Valentine’s gifts for men lately — boxer shorts with hearts, ties with hearts, hearts with candy, roses, or stuffed animals? And how many of these are truly gifts that men desire? I wonder why women spend less money?

Jeff Weitzman
Guest
Jeff Weitzman
15 years 27 days ago

I think Don’s dead on. Add the never-ending marketing search for the next gift-giving event to spin up, and Valentine’s day is locked in the cross-hairs.

Mark Lilien
Guest
15 years 27 days ago

Men make more money than women, so it’s not surprising they spend more. Furthermore, among the top items are candy, flowers, and dinner, and these items are traditionally paid for by men for women. The great opportunities for department and specialty stores would be gift cards, clothing, and fragrances, given by both genders. The biggest obstacle to increasing St. Valentine’s Day gift giving? People are still paying off Christmas.

Warren Thayer
Guest
15 years 27 days ago

To make this grow, make it easy to buy, and remind people early and often. For example, http://www.redenvelope.com has saved my butt many times. They send reminders around key holidays, and you can also register birthdays and anniversaries on their site, and they e-mail you two weeks before the date, with another reminder 4 days before the date. With a couple clicks of the mouse, I’m done, and relieved. I’ve rarely been forgetful over the years, but once or twice when I forgot it was really, really unpleasant. Probably the best advertising message for guys would be: ‘DON’T FORGET, OR YOU’LL BE IN DEEP TROUBLE!’ That wouldn’t be romantic, but I’m sure a lot of guys would relate.

Michael Tesler
Guest
Michael Tesler
15 years 27 days ago

Yes, business will increase over last year (weather permitting). The smartest small retailers (to disagree with our worthy moderator) do not use the word advertising anymore. They are marketers and they avoid the traditional media like the plague (with noteworthy large spender exceptions like furniture stores). They promote their stores through fun events and activities, workshops, seminars, fashion shows, trunk shows, food and drink, charitable and community events and revolve these activities around their merchandise and the calendar. They use their databases in creative ways to drive traffic to their stores. It is not about Valentine’s Day per se, it is about leveraging every opportunity to make a more inviting and interesting store.

Don Delzell
Guest
Don Delzell
15 years 27 days ago
OK. This is going to be about population dynamics, and isn’t going to be “pretty.” The cool thing about Valentine’s Day is that it spans all generations with very little difference in importance. As we know, this is primarily a day for men to show how romantic they can be to the woman in their life that they’ve probably been taking for granted. Or at least who feels taken for granted, under appreciated… you get the idea. It is also a time for unrequited love to be expressed, hopeful love to be tested, and so on. So we have kids from 12 to 92 participating. Until the older generation dies off at a faster rate than the new one enters, the total available pool for this holiday will increase. It is also, in comparison to Christmas and birthdays, relatively inexpensive. Relatively. A lot of bang for the buck. Which means the disposable income statistics will not push spending down for this holiday as fast as it does for others. Easter, 4th of July, and so… Read more »
Bernice Hurst
Guest
15 years 25 days ago

At the risk of sounding cynical (moi???), I do declare that all this Valentine’s Day stuff is not at all about romance or love but the fact that more marketing is aimed at men to impress them with the benefits they might receive from giving some sort of Valentine’s Day gift. The comment about using gift cards supports my cynical viewpoint – it doesn’t even cost them anything because they can give something that was already given to them. This means, to me, that men are more susceptible to thinking they can buy love than women. So what else is new?

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