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The Top Grossing Valentines Gifts

Feb 07, 2013 03:27AM ● By Erin Frisch

The Top Grossing Valentines Gifts

Valentine’s Day is the second-most celebrated holiday worldwide, taking the number 2 spot after New Year’s Day. Originally, it was a feast day in honor of Saint Valentine, who was rumored to have been a martyr for love. Nearly a thousand years later in the 19th century, this day become popular for exchanging handwritten notes between loved ones. From there, it developed into the commercialized Hallmark holiday we know (and love?) today. Last year, Americans spent about $17.6 billion on Valentine’s Day, making it the second-highest grossing holiday—Christmas takes the top spot. Who is spending all that money, and what are they buying? Let’s take a look.

The people most often on the receiving end of Valentine’s Day gifts are spouses and significant others. Next in line are children, followed by parents and other family members. Teachers and classmates of school-aged children are next. In fact, teachers probably receive the most Valentines of any group in numbers (one from each child in their class, if they’re lucky). And 25 percent of people purchase some type of Valentine for their friends. At the bottom of the bunch of recipients are co-workers.

Let’s take a look at the phenomenon by gender. The average male spends $168.74 on gifts for Valentine’s Day. That’s nearly twice as much as the average female. And by geographic location, it’s the residents of the Northeast who clock in as the biggest spenders, followed by Southerners, then those living in the West; residents of the Midwest spend the least. Those in the age range from 25 to 34 spend the most on this holiday, while those age 65 and older spend the least.

What’s the most popular Valentine’s Day gift? Greeting cards top the list of items purchased most by admirers. Over 50 percent of people spend an average of just under $14 on greeting cards for family, friends, and other loved ones. Candy—most often in the form of chocolate—comes in around 50 percent as well, making it the second-most purchased gift to honor the day. You might have guessed that if we’re talking about what the largest amounts of money are spent on the answer is jewelry, with the average amount per gift of glitz at just over $150. Surprisingly though, jewelry is purchased by only 20 percent or so as a Valentine’s Day gift. An evening on the town is how 36 percent of people spend money to celebrate the day, and it turns out to be the second-most expensive gift, averaging around $75. An evening out is tied with floral bouquets and arrangements as the third-most popular gift. Fewer people spend money on clothing and gift cards.

The Ultimate Valentines Giveaway

The big day is just around the corner. How will you be spending your Valentine’s Day or evening? What’s your favorite gift to give or receive?

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