Valentine’s Day a ‘rip-off': survey

hearts, love, chocolate, valentinesTwo thirds of Australians won’t be celebrating Valentine’s Day in 2018 because it’s too expensive, according to research from comparison site Finder.com.au.

In a survey of 1,718 respondents, 36 per cent said they will splash out on their partners and celebrate the Hallmark holiday, spending on average $75 each, equivalent to $528 million across the nation.

But almost two thirds (64 per cent per cent) won’t be celebrating Valentine’s Day this year, with most avoiding the holiday because of cost, with 25 per cent of Aussies thinking Valentine’s Day is a ‘rip-off or too expensive’. A further 18 per cent have never celebrated the holiday because they don’t believe in it.

“With exorbitant price markups on flowers, restaurants, chocolate and accommodation, it’s not surprising that some view Valentine’s Day as a money making scheme,” said Bessie Hassan, Money Expert at Finder.

One in five (21 per cent) Aussies are single and won’t be celebrating the event this year.

The survey also found that the older Aussies get, the more anti-Valentine’s they become with 80 per cent of Baby Boomers steering clear of the holiday, in comparison to 67 per cent of Gen X and 47 per cent of Gen Y.

On the whole, men will spend $94 on gifts, almost double that of women ($56).

Russell Zimmerman, executive director of the Australian Retailers Association said he’s expecting a surge in sales leading up to Valentine’s Day with 61 per cent of Australians voting yes in the same-sex marriage vote last year.

“Although we celebrate Valentine’s Day every year the ARA believe last year’s same-sex marriage vote will see specialty retailers receive a bigger increase in sales leading up to this widely celebrated affair,” Zimmerman said.

  “The oldest known Valentine’s gift is a 15th century woodcut, showing a knight receiving flowers from a maiden, as it was customary for women to give the men flowers,” Zimmerman said

“Today, while almost 85 per cent of Valentine’s Day customers are men sending flowers to their lovers, we are starting to see the tradition swing back, with more women sending flowers to men.”

Minna Phillipson, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at jewellery retailer Pandora said a quarter of women in a global survey said they often receive gifts they don’t like.

With Valentine’s Day being the single, busiest day of the year for many Australian florists, the ARA said retailers are likely to work 48 hours straight to manage their increased orders.

Gerry Gerrard, CEO of Interflora expects approximately five million blooms to be delivered across Australia during the Valentine’s Day period.

“Remarkably, around 1 per cent of Interflora’s Valentine’s Day deliveries are actual wedding proposals, and with nearly 800 Interflora florists nationwide, it’s more than likely that your flowers will be handcrafted and delivered by an Interflora Florist,” he said.

Vanessa Galina, general manager of sales at Simone Perele Australia, said the retailer expects an increase in lingerie sales, but said the increase is predominantly driven by individual purchases made by women wanting to treat themselves to something beautiful, with or without a partner.

“Whilst partner purchases are often from people in a new relationship, we see women looking to treat themselves to some pampering when they come in-store and Valentine’s Day is a perfect excuse for customers to invest in themselves,” Galina said.

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