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  • 12 February 2015
  • Eric Michaels

The economic impact of Valentine's Day in 2015

Valentine's Day may not be Christmas, but there's no questioning the impact of the "Lovers Holiday". With the American economy already on a roll, spending is expected to rise to over $15 billion in 2015. As a result, every entrepreneur and small business owner should seek to understand exactly who's buying all these gifts, and the impact that economy-related trends could have on their business's bottom line.

Valentine's spending

According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), more than 50 percent of people in the U.S. spend money on Valentine's Day, shelling out an average of more than $130 per person on dinners and gifts. Candy and greeting cards are the most frequent purchases, with nearly 50 percent of Americans surveyed stating they give these as gifts. More than one-third give flowers, and clothing and gift cards are also popular.

This just goes to show that there is opportunity at every price point in every demographic.

Restaurateurs also benefit greatly. Nearly 40 percent of people dine out for Valentine's Day and incur dinner checks amounting to $3.5 billion. Jewelers also see their fortunes rise near this holiday, reporting close to $4 billion in sales for earrings, bracelets and rings. Figures show men will spend more than $100 on average for their sweethearts, dwarfing the women's average total spend of $49.

Lessons to be learned

Small business owners should look for creative ways to tap into this spending bonanza, no matter their specialty. For example, retail surveys indicate 59 percent of people will spend money on their family members – including pets, who often receive a special Valentine's Day treat from their owners. This just goes to show that there is opportunity at every price point in every demographic.

At least one quarter of shoppers plan to shop online, while an equal percentage will perform research online before making their purchase. That said, now is the time to make your online business image shine or else risk missing out on the exposure and sales opportunities Valentine's Day brings.

Watching 2015's trends

To this point, the biggest story of the year relating to financial markets is the low price of oil and gas. Nearly every industry benefits from a drop in prices at the pump, since consumers presumably will have more spending money in their pockets. This trend could impact the number of Valentine's getaways (a boost for all travel and service industries), as well as the amount of money spent on dinners and gifts (a boost for restaurateurs and makers of all types.)

Additionally, for small business owners, the low price of gasoline could create opportunities for added revenue on the delivery side of your business. For example, you might be able to offer delivery of goods to customers in an extended location range because your delivery trucks can travel up to 20 percent farther without impacting your fuel budget. Thus, as long as oil prices remain low, you're able to offer shipping promotions that attract new customers.

The economic impact of Valentine's Day 2015 may reach highs not seen since the days before the recession. No matter what type of business you run, you have the chance to make it run farther and better this year. Don't miss this opportunity!

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