Couple looking at a window display of a store.

Valentine’s Day by the numbers

For the next two weeks, Indigo, More than Words… and The Lottery Wicket will be full of husbands, wives, boyfriends and girlfriends looking for the perfect way to express their love.

We checked out all three stores the other day and, as we expected, found almost every conceivable way to say those three magic words, from the heartfelt and sappy to the irreverent to the just-on-this-side-of-offensive. And within those categories, there were options among options.

That got us thinking about Valentine’s Day card writers, and how difficult it must be to come up with new sentiments every year to say the same thing  and how many they have to come up with. This led us to discover that, from Hallmark alone, there are over 1,400 different Valentine’s cards. Think about that: 1,400 ways to say three words  and that’s just from one company.

It took a bit of digging to find that statistic, but as we dug, we found a few interesting and rather surprising Valentine’s Day metrics. Now, these are American statistics, but we can’t imagine the Canadian percentages being that different.

Women buy 85% of the Valentine’s Day cards
That one shocked us, especially because it’s usually the guy who makes the grand gesture. But the statistics tell a different story, one where the ladies lay their emotions out for their fellas to appreciate. So we did a quick poll of women we found card shopping and we found something equally interesting: most of them weren’t buying cards for their men. Instead, they were buying for their kids, co-workers and their friends.

64% of men buy flowers for their Valentine
Based on a quick conversation we had with the folks at the Bloorstreet Market, where there are fresh flowers for sale every day of the year, we thought the number would be higher. But what that tells us is that 46% of women are getting something different, like candy and chocolate ($1.6 billion was spent on that last year in the US) and jewellery ($4.4 billion was spent on bling). The people at the Teuscher counter at William Ashley and at Birks confirmed this. Both report a spike of male customers around this time of year. But of the men who go the floral route, 51% opt for a traditional red rose bouquet.

11,000 children a year are conceived on Valentine’s Day
Eighty-five percent of men and women see sex as an important part of Valentine’s Day. That must be why, at 9.6% of the population, Scorpio is the most common Zodiac sign. But if you want to play it safe, you can buy condoms at the Pharma Plus, just next to the LCBO on the concourse level.

53% of women would end their relationship if their men forgot Valentine’s Day
Ok, that seems a bit extreme, but really, it’s not that hard for guys to take five minutes to do a little something to show their appreciation, whether it’s a card, a bouquet or even a nice dinner out. And if you’re looking for somewhere to go, think about the four-course Valentine’s Day special at The One Eighty on the 51st Floor here at Manulife Centre. If you book now, you could get a table by the window.

Happy Valentine’s Day and lots of love from all of us at Manulife Centre.

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