Industry Bracing for Record Sales of Flowers & Gift Baskets This Valentine’s Day

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A proverbial ‘Perfect Retail Storm’ is brewing in favor of Florists and Gift Basket Companies this year. Learn why consumers will spend more this Valentine’s Day on flowers and gift baskets than even aggressive analysts’ forecasts.

when it comes to picking out that perfect gift, fewer men will be buying flowers (52.3 % vs. 57.8% in 2005).

Consumer preferences vary significantly with the day of the week on which the holiday falls. The last three Valentine’s Days (2003, 2004, and 2005) have fallen respectively on Friday, Saturday and because of the leap year, Monday. When Valentine’s Day falls on a weekend, consumers are more likely to splurge on restaurants, hotels and weekend getaways than normal; Valentine’s Day turns into Valentine’s Weekend! Increased competition from substitute goods takes a piece of the flower and gift basket market from retailers. When Valentine’s Day falls on a Monday, consumers indulge over the weekend and claim ‘double jeopardy’ on weekend activities counting them towards their Valentine’s Day spending budget. When Valentine’s Day is on a Monday, retail prospects can be classified as merely fair, and do not approach record breaking capacity; retailers all suffer together, not just florists and gift basket companies.

As determined by the stars, this year Valentine’s Day arrives on Tuesday, February 14th, shifting the battle for consumer spending in favor of flowers and gift baskets. These two products are at a large advantage this year for three key reasons: First, 2002 was the last time these products did not have to compete with ‘weekend’ substitute goods. Consumers who spent on activities in years past are more likely to come back to flowers and gifts this year. Second, the robust economy gave most floral and gift retailers the best Christmas season in years. This is always a portent of good things to come for the industry on Valentine’s Day, only 51 days from the close of the holiday shopping season. Third, with Valentine’s on a Tuesday, deliveries will most commonly be made to the workplace, creating that unmistakable buzz around the office no other gift can duplicate.

Rebutting The National Retail Federation’s Predictions

In its annual, well-researched Valentine’s Day spending forecast, the NRF mentions “when it comes to picking out that perfect gift, fewer men will be buying flowers (52.3 % vs. 57.8% in 2005).” This prediction contradicts our forecasts build on 70 years of retail floral experience. The NRF survey samples consumer preferences weeks before they have really had a chance to digest the intricate role played by the day of the week in planning their Valentine’s budgets. If fewer consumers actually purchase flowers this Valentine’s day, you can still bet that sales of flowers and gift baskets will be significantly higher than in years past years and will have a good chance and breaking industry sales records. Less competition from weekend substitute goods, the robust economy, and the critical role played by the day of the week will make this Valentine ’s Day the best ever for retail flowers and Valentine’s Day Gift Baskets.

Ryan D. Abood is CTO & Director of Business Development at Chalifour’s Flowers, Gift & Gourmet – Manchester, NH Florist and President of

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