V-Day spending will total 19.7 B this year with a growth of 4.2% over last yr and 16.6% over the last 10 yrs (NRF & PROPER INSIGHTS & ANALYTIC$ data). The ups and downs of V-Day spending remind us of the stock market. Our tween yrs’ %s (such as ‘tween 2015 & ’16) show 6 ups and 3 downs.

  • Table 1 tells us that 55% of us will celebrate V-Day and 25% of us will choose to celebrate its anti-thesis (self-gifting, going to a singles bar, etc).


  • Table 2 notes that 91% of us will remember our significant others on V-Day and that on avg $146 4/5+ will be spent by each V-Day buyer totaling $19.7 B for the US MILLENNIALS (MLLNNLS) will avg spending $190.90 which is an amazing 30% more than the avg American V-Day spender.


  • Table 3 discovers that V-Day jewelry buyers, will avg the highest spend $133+ per gift (though ONLY 20% [of the holiday’s spenders] will buy jewelry). We also see that in total, V-Day spenders will spend the most on that “special evening out” (a few bucks less than $4.50 B) with the total spend on jewelry being (45 B) By the way MLLNNLS out spend the avg V-Day spender in every category of purchase from 16% to 50%+. WOW!


  • Table 4 establishes the fact that DEPT STORES are the most popular V-Day shopping venue with DISCOUNTERS being 2nd and ONLINE (+CATALOGUERS) being 3rd. MLLNNLS undershop the avg V-Day buyer at DISCOUNTERS and overshop at every other venue of retailer and especially at onlineRS 5% vs 29.0% for the avg holiday shopper. 43.8% of MLLNNLS visit dept. stores (vs 34.5% of the avg V-Day shopper.)


  • Table 5 is almost too obvious. 18-34 yr olders have the highest ownership of smart phones (vs the older age brackets); these MLLNNLS plan to use their smart phones to research, redeem coupons, to buy and pay with them more than any other age bracket.


  • Table 6 states that by a wide margin, MLLNNLS will give and would like to receive “gifts of experience” much more frequently than either of the other age groups (35-54 or 55 to 65). This table shows that the avg V-Day gifter would like to Buy It 24% of the time vs 42% for MLLNNLS and 39% of the avg holiday buyers would like to receive it (vs 54% of MLLNNLS). The bottom line is that MLLNNLS are much more engaged by gifts with “experiential” value.


  • In summation while MLLNNLS are known for being “cheap” or perhaps just “holding tight to their money”, that generality surely doesn’t apply for V-Day spending and shopping. MLLNNLS are definitely the leading V-Day spenders/shoppers in the Clubhouse!





T-1: DOING WHAT? TOTAL 18-34 35-54 55-65+
CELEBRATE V-DAY 54.8% 61.4% 56.5% 47.2%
CELEBRATE ANTI V-DAY 24.6% 41.6% 20.7% 14.8%

The reason the % of 18-34 is 41.6% is b/c respondents had the opportunity to check many categories such as self-gifting, a singles outing, and buying an anti-V-Day gift, etc. The sum of these responses was over 40% which means that when added to V-Day celebrations which was just yes or no, and over 60%, one gets an outrageous 100%+. The reader will notice that even though there were the same MLP choices for the other age brackets, the sum was much, much smaller b/c of little relative interest in anti-V-Day celebrations.

T-2 TO WHOM? % $$ TOT B Y over Y Increase MLLNNLS vs AVG
SIGNIFICANT OTHERS 91% $89.86 $12.07 Y +21.6%
OTHER FAMILY MEMBERS 56% $27.79 $3.73 Y +16.2%
FRIENDS 21% $7.47 $1.00 Y +65.1%
CLASSMATES & TEACHERS 20% $37.08 $0.95 Y +51.1%
CO WORKERS 11% $5.83 $0.78 Y +85.8%
PETS 19% $5.07 $0.68 N +73.2%
OTHER 7% $3.74 $0.50 Y +67.4%
N/A $146.84 $19.7 N/A 29.9%


T-3 WHAT GIFT $$ % buy TOT in B Up or Down MLLNNS vs AVG
CANDY $13.11 50 1.76 UP +31.8%
FLOWERS $14.78 36 1.99 DOWN +23.7%
JEWELRY $133.11 20 4.45 DOWN +24.8%
GREET CARDS $8.52 48 1.14 UP +48.4%
EVE OUT $33.46 38 4.50 UP +16.1%
CLOTHING $15.05 15 2.02 UP +50.4%
GIFT CARD $12.52 12½ 1.68 UP 18.4%


T-4 WHERE TO BUY? AVG Buyer 18-34 35-44 45-65
DISCOUNTERS 31.0% 29.6% 35.3% 28.1%
DEPT STORES 34.5% 43.8% 36.2% 25.1%
SPECIALTY STORES 13.6% 18.2% 13.6% 9.6%
LOCAL BIZES 15.4% 17.7% 13.8% 15.3%
FLORIST 19.4% 24.6% 20.8% 14.4%
JEWELERS 11.2% 18.0% 10.8% 6.2%
ONLINE & CAT 29.0% 40.5% 28.6% 21.4%
OTHER 9.4% 4.6% 8.7% 14.2%


T-5 SMRT PHONE USAGE? 18-34 35-54 55-65+
SMART PHONE OWNERSHIP 92.3% 85.9% 63.8%
PLAN TO PURCHASE PROD 32.3% 16.1% 5.8%
REDEEM COUPONS 23.9% 12.8% 4.9%
USE SMARTPHONE TO PAY 6.7% 4.6% 2.0%





LOVE TO BUY IT 24.0% 41.8% 23.2% 10.0%
LOVE TO RECEIVE IT 38.8% 53.6% 40.0% 25.4%

About bernacmd

For over 24 years, University of Detroit Mercy Marketing Professor Michael Bernacchi, Ph.D., J.D, has produced "uNDER tHE mIKE-rOSCOPE", a newsletter discussing current "marketing and advertising¹s bends, trends & ends." A well-know fixture in Detroit and national media, UDM's marketing guru has made several appearances on CNN's "Talk Back Live," the Voice of America worldwide radio network (VOA), ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC and on the pages of Sports Illustrated, Time, TV Guide, the New York Times, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post, to name a few. At University of Detroit Mercy, he has taught courses in Marketing Management, Consumer Behavior, Marketing Communications, Research and Corporate Social Responsibility and Sports and Entertainment Marketing. Michael Bernacchi can be reached at 313-993-1116 or bernacmd@udmercy.edu. Please appropriately attribute the following for their work on uNDER tHE mIKE-rOSCOPE: Yen Ju Lee Robert Rouse Vidhyasagar Natarajan Eric Baumgardner & Ian Young
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