The spending level for Valentine’s Day gifts this year will be slightly lower than last year – $140 to be spent by men (versus $166 in 2008), and $75 (versus $90) to be spent by women, according to the BrandKeys Valentine’s Day Index, writes RetailerDaily.
“Valentine’s Day will be the first major holiday of 2009 to feel the economic pinch,” said Robert Passikoff, president, Brand Keys. “This year the average price consumers placed on love is $108.00, down 15% from last year.”
Gift-giving has also skewed away from the purchase of expensive presents and gift cards to less expensive, more intimate tokens of love and devotion, Passikoff said.
Dinners and drinks, both alcoholic and other, have picked up 16% over last year. The traditional tokens of love and caring – flowers, candy, jewelry, and lingerie – are down 10 to 15%.
“The purchase of gift cards had nearly doubled over the past five years because consumers felt they had become a more-than-acceptable gift for a broader range of recipients,” said Passikoff. “But this is the first year that gift card purchases have flattened.”
This change in purchase behavior is likely due to the fact that in this economy people intend to give fewer tangible gifts and will spend more time with their Valentines instead of giving a more traditional, material gift, he said.
Fifteen percent of men and women (nearly four times the 2008 number) indicated that they intend to stay home.
About the findings: In its bi-annual Customer Loyalty Engagement Index, Brand Keys asked 1,200 men and 1,200 women (18-60 years of age) from the nine Census regions of the United States what they were going to do, what they were going to buy, and how they were going to celebrate Valentine’s Day 2009.