It’s one of the more commercial holidays of the year.
Now I suppose I could be as romantically inclined as the next person, but given that I’m already buying chocolates all year round and flowers almost as often, the day doesn’t feel ALL that special (or maybe just especially anti-special this year. )
But Valentine’s day is big business. $18B of big business just in the US alone. It’s ranked #3 in holiday spending, ahead of Mother’s Day, Easter, and Father’s Day, and behind only Christmas and Thanksgiving.
In fact, it’s such big business that you might have noticed Valentine’s Day merchandising showing up while you were still celebrating New Year’s Day. (Yep, I’m that person who, of all the things to take note of after NY, notices the merchandising changing over :p)
Somewhere along the way, stores figured that people buy more when they are being reminded to buy.
Bit by bit, merchandising for a holiday or event crept up sooner and sooner till stores became a schizophrenic mix of holidays (hello Costco with your Halloween AND X’mas merchandising at the same time. On notice!!)
But I think stores have gone a bit overboard.
Maybe it’s laziness on figuring out what else to merchandise in those seasonal sections, but if they are telling me to think Valentine’s Day on January 2nd already, where is my sense of urgency? Am I really buying Valentine’s chocolates that early in? Showing me something too soon can have a detrimental effect where I actually tune out on the store merchandise.
Does early holiday merchandising work in general? It seems the results have been mixed.
Retailers that merchandise early seem to gain an advantage over their competitors. However, as their competitors follow suit, this advantage is lost, and in the long run the industry is no better off than before. Total spending does not go up, but retailers may gain a temporarily larger share of the pie. Since there doesn’t appear to be any conclusive negative long-term effects to the industry for doing this, don’t expect this trend to end soon.
There’s one product I don’t mind seeing all the time. And that’s creme eggs. I’ll buy those all year round.
Which is why this –
is truly brilliant.