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For many the arrival of the 14th day of February marks the return of the nation’s official day of romance. However for America’s retail sector Valentine’s Day serves as one of the nation’s most profitable holidays.
According to the National Retail Federation (NRF) in 2014 consumers planned to spend an average of $133.91 on Valentine’s Day gifts, resulting in over $17 billion in sales.
“This is the one day of the year when millions find a way to show their loved ones they care,” stated NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay in his 2014 pre-Valentine’s Day address. “Valentine’s Day will continue to be a popular gift-giving event, even when consumers are frugal with their budgets.”
The National Retail Federation’s Monthly Consumer Survey indicates that the top gift items for Valentine’s Day include:
American Express estimates that 46% of the 13 million Americans who got engaged during 2014 were proposed to during the Valentine’s holiday season – totaling $3.9 billion in jewelry spending.
The spending power that is generated from Valentine’s Day has a tremendous impact on local businesses. For instance in Forsyth County, Georgia the arrival of Valentine’s Day fosters an uptick in several of the community’s local industries – including the manufacturing sector.
“Valentine’s Day is [our] 2nd busiest holiday of the year,” stated Heidi Nel, the President and owner of the Forsyth County-based edible gift manufacturer Heidi’s Heavenly Cookies. “Our customers continue to send Love via cookies to family and friends. However, we have seen a large increase in orders from businesses, sending gourmet gratitude for Valentine’s Day to their customers. Thankfully we have also seen a big trend in companies wanting to support small businesses within their community.”
Forsyth County’s technology sector benefits from Valentine’s Day as well. As one of the leading shippers of holiday gifts, UPS plays a tremendous role in helping individuals to send their purchases to their friends and families. Each shipment that is sent via UPS is tracked electronically through the company’s data centers – including their Windward Data Center in the southern region of Forsyth County.
From restaurants, to florists, to manufacturers, to data centers, the business of romance plays a major role in stimulating both national and local economy.
By Randall Toussaint, Vice President Economic Development
Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce
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