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Extraordinary commercialisation of Valentine’s Day

Mark Fletcher
January 14th, 2014 · 14 Comments

valentines-petsI am amazed of the size of Valentine’s Day across a range of retail businesses in the US. It all starts with the the people you would / could purchase Valentine’s Day cards for. Take the photo – it’s a Valentine’s Day card from your cat (yes it’s in the wrong pocket as the header card says from dog).

A Valentine’s Day card from your cat?! As a retailer, I’d love the season to reach this level in Australia. I’d love to sell Valentines Day cards from your pets, to your pets, to teachers, neighbours, pastors, parents, grandparents, kids. I’ve seen packs of cards for kids to give to fellow students. ┬áThe season would grow tremendously for us.

That said, I suspect Australians would not approach the broad range of captions I am seeing here in the US. We’d need to educate them to show that the season is about more than it has been, that it’s about appreciation.

4 likes

Category: Greeting Cards · retail

14 responses so far ↓

  • 1 shauns // Jan 14, 2014 at 11:56 AM

    How about we leave it just how it is the last thing I want to see is people sending themselves a card from their dam cat , how depressing is that .

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  • 2 Jack // Jan 14, 2014 at 12:19 PM

    Did your cat break up with you shauns?

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  • 3 Richard // Jan 14, 2014 at 12:52 PM

    I bet the cards to there firearms will be a sell out.

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  • 4 michelle // Jan 14, 2014 at 1:01 PM

    shauns I have a valued customer who purchased 6 plush toys for xmas average of $19.95 each for her 6 dogs. They were each given their own xmas card from her and her husband (yes wrapped up) and then they each gave each other a chris kringal gift of a Doggy Stocking (wrapped) and card!!!. This is not the only one, I have 3 others who regularly buy cards for their dogs and from their dogs and one lady with a cat and parrot who both apparently like giving gifts? The very very Sad truth, I could easily sell a range of Birthday/ Sympathy/ anniversary/mothers day/ fathers day/ xmas and easter cards that were specifically to and from Dogs, Cats, Parrots and Horses. In the last 15 months I have had to find appropriate cards in our existing range to cover all of these.

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  • 5 Mark Fletcher // Jan 14, 2014 at 2:16 PM

    We had a customer who collected two of each part of the cat partwork – one for each of her dolls.

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  • 6 June // Jan 14, 2014 at 4:42 PM

    Choke!!!!!!! The world can be a very sad
    place.
    We have our 50th wedding anniversary this year and I was joking to a customer and saying “have you ever heard of anyone getting divorced in their 50th year of marriage” (I think I was bit aggravated at the time) and another customer chimed in with “oh you lucky girl – I had mine this year but my husband has dementia and doesn’t even recognize me any more”

    I felt truly chastened and made up my mind to not be so cavalier with my words (yeh right! I bet I stick to that NOT!!!!)

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  • 7 Amanda // Jan 14, 2014 at 4:45 PM

    I’m with Mark, the bigger the range the better.

    Sticking with the Valentine’s Day theme, I was considering selling flowers (roses) for Valentine’s Day. Anybody attempted to do this, or better yet, anybody selling flower’s consistently as an everyday product?

    This would be a new product for us, and we would be competing with Woolworths / Coles but no florists close by.

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  • 8 Jarryd Moore // Jan 14, 2014 at 5:10 PM

    Roses next to Valentines day cards are an easy pitch Amanda – especially to guys who just want to get everything as quickly as possible and get out. We have a local florist supply us. Sell at approx 35-40% margin.

    We get them on the morning of Feb 13 and top up that night or early morn Feb 14.

    Single roses are the most popular but we also keep a small range of bunches and boxed arrangements.

    We used to sell flowers but sales slowed over time so we cut them. Super short shelf life it the problem. I would think it might be hard to compete with Woolworths/Coles for everyday flowers – their range is going to be bigger and the price points possible better or equal. Higher end arrangements carry too much risk and those people who want these are likely to seek out a florist.

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  • 9 Amanda // Jan 14, 2014 at 5:34 PM

    Thanks Jarryd. Will consider your suggestions.

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  • 10 Brett // Jan 14, 2014 at 7:38 PM

    Amanda, we used to be a Florist as well as a newsagent – staff costs were the killer but the Valentines Days and Mothers days were nice

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  • 11 Amanda // Jan 14, 2014 at 9:06 PM

    Hi Brett, did you experience similar sales to Jarryd regarding single and bunched roses?
    I assume staff costs were a result of wrapping flowers?
    What about overnight storage of flowers?
    Thanks:)

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  • 12 Nerissa // Jan 15, 2014 at 10:59 PM

    I’ll have to follow up Hallmark about packs of Valentines cards for/from kids. My 7yo received lots of Valentines cards last year and so we had to make lots up last minute. it seems to be getting big in primary schools after talking to other mums about it!

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  • 13 Brett // Jan 16, 2014 at 10:05 AM

    Amanda,

    Overnight storage needs to be in fridges, but not an ordinary one, needs to be a florist one (humidity)

    Florists are expensive to hire and for Mothers Day/Valentines day you needs lots of them for long hours

    Sales are easy – guys like to buy the whole package in one hit. The ideal is flower, card, chocolate and teddy bear, all in one place

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  • 14 Amanda // Jan 16, 2014 at 7:02 PM

    Thankyou both Brett and Jarryd.

    0 likes

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