Isn’t That Sweet? Valentine’s Day Spending is Soaring

FWho loves you, baby?

Valentine’s Day spending will reach $18.9 billion this year, according to a survey by the National Retail Federation (NRF).

Gifts run the gamut, but candy takes the cake with consumers.

Here’s an excerpt from an NRF press release, which has the breakdown:

While most (53.2%) plan to buy candy for the sweet holiday, spending a total of $1.7 billion, one in five (21.1%) plans to buy jewelry for a total of $4.8 billion, the highest amount seen since NRF began tracking spending on Valentine’s gifts in 2010.

Additionally 37.8% will buy flowers, spending a total of $2.1 billion, and more than one-third (35.1%) will spend on plans for a special night out, including movies and restaurants, totaling $3.6 billion. Celebrants will also spend nearly $2 billion on clothing and $1.5 billion on the gift that keeps on giving: gift cards.

It turns out that Valentine’s Day isn’t just for lovebirds. Although 91% of those surveyed plan to indulge their significant others/spouses with gifts, 58.7% will dish out an average of $26.26 on other family members and $6.30 on children’s classmates/teachers.

Delectable chocolates, sweet gestures and a hearty economic impact – you’ve got to love it.

“You Don’t Bring Me Flowers…”

If your company is called 1-800-Flowers, you should probably be ready for an influx of business on Valentine’s Day. Perhaps understandably, the company was overwhelmed with expected deliveries on Feb. 14, but instead of notifying customers, it appears the business simply didn’t deliver the flowers. Needless to say, there were some very disappointed wives and girlfriends. 

If there is a takeaway from this, it’s probably that those of us in the business world should be aware of the dangers of over-committing. Styleist.com reports:

So this caught our eye when visiting our Twitter feed: A chorus (which may be an understatement) of angry customers directing their ire towards 1-800-Flowers. It turns out that for potentially hundreds of customers, their Valentine’s Day orders were left unfulfilled…and customer service isn’t proving to be the most helpful option. Calls to their complaint line have reportedly resulted in 20 minute-plus wait times, abrupt hang-ups and little resolution.

However, tweeting @1800Flowers seems to be the most helpful–customer service agents apparently are resorting to direct messaging to resolve the epic fiasco. Though resolutions seem to be coming forth, it doesn’t make up for a disappointing Valentine’s Day. (And we wonder how many people got in trouble with their significant others, honestly.)

Angry customers did take their messages to Twitter with posts like:

  • @1800flowers #flowerfail. Order guaranteed for 2/14 not delivered AND on permahold to get live person. Customer service not your strong suit
  • @1800flowers failed to deliver yesterday, won’t take calls, and is unresponsive to e-mail. I’m relegated to tweeting.
  • @1800flowers it was the worst Valentines day I’ve ever had 🙁 my flowers never showed up