A Happy Holiday

As most know, holidays can mean big business and Valentine’s Day is no different. Here’s a look at some data and stories on how the mid-February holiday affects the economy — both locally and nationally.

The numbers are telling and interesting: Though fewer Americans are celebrating the February holiday of Valentine’s Day, those who are participating are spending more than ever, according to the world’s largest retail trade association, National Retail Federation, in its Valentine’s Day Spending Survey report conducted by Ohio-based Prosper Insights & Analytics. 

Results showed that only 51 percent of Americans planned to celebrate the holiday; however, spending was up $18.40 per person over the previous year, with consumers saying they would shell out an average of $162. Total spending in the U.S. was expected to be $20.7 billion, a 6 percent increase from the previous year. 

Locally, and more anecdotally, businesses are expecting another productive year for Valentine’s Day-related spending. 

At Yuan Spa in Bellevue, spa director Tysan Dutta said calls for couples’ services started in early January. “Valentine’s Day is one of our most popular times of the year,” she said. “We typically book out — particularly on couple’s services — weeks in advance.” And those that aren’t able to book an appointment? Dutta said gift cards from Valentine’s Day are redeemed throughout the year.

In Lake Stevens, Jenny Keller, owner of the popular Jenny Cookies Bake Shop, said the shop’s clientele buys hand-decorated Valentine’s Day cookies for myriad gifting opportunities. 

“Every day is a great day for cookies, but the week of Valentine’s Day, Jenny Cookies Bake Shop always sees a spike in sales,” Keller said. “We love helping customers with treats for teachers, classroom parties, co-workers, children, loved ones, partners, and friends. As a destination bake shop, it’s an honor to spread buttercream love all over Washington!” 

For many retailers, like those at The Bellevue Collection, the 2020 holiday is expected to be especially popular due to its timing. 

“Valentine’s Day is a leading holiday for all of our retail, restaurant, and hospitality businesses — especially this year, because the unique weekend timing is perfect for a romantic getaway,” said Jennifer Leavitt, vice president of marketing for The Bellevue Collection’s parent, Kemper Development Company. “With Valentine’s Day falling on a Friday and President’s Day on the following Monday, we are promoting the holiday weekend as an opportunity to spend at The Bellevue Collection with your valentine.”

Leavitt said KDC hopes romantic hotel packages complete with champagne, extending dining, entertainment, and shopping will encourage couples to spend their three-day weekend in Bellevue. 

“There’s nothing quite like a destination weekend dedicated to love — and all in one convenient place,” she added.

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is an assistant editor at 425 magazine. Email her.
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