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Valentine’s Day commerce high-value industry

Though most people could not explain the history of Valentine’s Day, they sure are quick to spend money on it. And for what? Simply because people think that spending money somehow validates a relationship.

According to a CNN article posted on Feb. 14, 2013, the average American spends $130.97 for Valentine’s Day. Nearly $2 billion are spent on flowers, and an estimated $1.6 billion are spent on candy each year.

But why do Americans spend so much money on expensive bouquets and boxes of chocolate? This single day has been designated as the day to show love for a significant other through the exchange of gifts and the romance of a well-thought-out date night.

It seems to be a well-disguised money-sucker as many consumers are eager to buy, buy, buy.

Pieces of Heaven manager Peggy Whitted, for instance, reports that business sales quadruple during the week of Valentine’s Day, with consumers eager to purchase revered caramel.

Mid-Valley Safeway floral manager Brook Patterson comments that she often receives extra orders during Valentine’s week. She also explains that the price of roses doubles.

“Usually 12 roses cost $9.99, [but] during the week of Valentine’s they go up to $19.99,” Patterson explains.

Then there are the movies. Not only do couples linger in theaters, desperate to enjoy a movie date on Valentine’s Day, but the holiday itself has become a release date or focus for many highly praised chick flicks throughout the years. The upcoming cinematographic calendar features several romantic films set to release within two weeks of Feb. 14.

This trend has been on the rise for many years. According to Box Office Mojo, Sam Taylor Johnson’s Fifty Shades of Grey grossed $93,010,350 from Feb. 13-16, 2015, generating $36,752,460 on Valentine’s Day alone.

And of course dinner goes hand in hand with movies. According to Koleen Hamblin, the public relations director of Bernardus Lodge and Spa, Valentine’s weekend brings a sold-out hotel and a fully occupied restaurant.

“We have a special menu for the evening in addition to our regular menu at the new Lucia restaurant,” Hamblin declares. “We expect it to be a big night.”

Valentine’s Day commerce has its place on the CHS campus as well. Each year, rose-grams are sold during the week preceding Valentine’s Day. Leigh Cambra, who oversees annual rose-gram sales, explains that an average of 70 to 100 Valentine’s-grams are sold each year.

Whether you’re single or taken, chances are you will spend money this Valentine’s Day, so be careful not to go overboard on this billion-dollar holiday. If you’re smart, you’ll wait until prices go down, enjoy an at-home movie and takeout dinner and wait for half-off chocolate on Feb. 15.

-Melissa Pavloff

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