Valentine’s Day is a big gift giving holiday, with 2010 gift sales sitting at about $14 billion for the period, according to the National Retail Federation.
This is not nearly as big as Christmas, but plenty of volume to make every retailer take notice.
And it is not just gifts that sell for this season…. Valentine cards are sent at a rate of 152 million a year according Hallmark.
Like Christmas, the giving is shared widely between family and friends, with many gatherings scheduled to share in the experience.
Adding to the regular activities is the social networks who have really embraced the Valentine’s Day giving period this year. According to a report published by Allfacebook, the virtual world has been very active this February, sharing everything from a virtual Love-o-meter to Valentine’s Day Massacres within the games on Facebook.
What is interesting is that we have moved less than 50 days down the calendar since Christmas and we are still shopping for ways to support each other through gift giving.
There should be no question that gift retailing is one of the serious economic drivers in our economy and presents some great opportunities, both on and off line.
This year, we are witnessing how Valentine’s Day is a serious driver of the virtual economy on Facebook as well. FarmVille players have already sent more valentines in 18 hours than all the Hallmark V-day cards sent last year!
Retailers and game developers are moving to take advantage of our human desire to be generous with those whom we love. The sales numbers for gifts, cards and virtual fluff is just further proof that gift giving remains a strong social glue.
The question remains: Who will make the sweetheart deals and applications that will combine social networks with real gift sharing between family and friends?
Thanks to Style Grrl for the great image