Retail Council of Canada finds that Canadians get it right for Valentine's Day

Feb 12, 2013, 07:00 ET from Retail Council of Canada

TORONTO, Feb. 12, 2013 /CNW/ - Give yourself a pat on the back. You did well on Valentine's Day last year, according to results of a poll done for Retail Council of Canada (RCC).

Respondents who received a gift from a significant other last year on Valentine's Day were asked if their significant other spent too little, too much or just the right amount: 86 per cent said the amount was just right - regardless of the recipient's gender

"It's a sweet sentiment for a sweet day," said Diane J. Brisebois, President and CEO, RCC. "Canadians are clearly generous with each other, both in thoughtful giving and gracious receiving."

Overall, Canadian households anticipate spending an average of about $37 this year on Valentine's Day purchases. Brisebois noted that this is an average, with some people spending $5 on a card while others can spend hundreds of dollars on a piece of jewelry. Men (43  per cent) are more likely than women (36 per cent) to say they plan to shop for the day. There were no regional differences on this across the country.

The poll also found:

  • Nearly half (45 per cent) of the budget for Valentine's Day shoppers will go to candy and cards.
  • British Columbians  are more likely than nearly all other Canadians to spend the greatest proportion of their budget on candy (37 per cent of budget).
  • Albertans and Quebecers expect to spend a greater proportion of their budget (25 per cent and 24 per cent of budget, respectively) on flowers as compared as compares to British Columbians (11 per cent of budget)
  • People with children (6 per cent of budget) are more likely to anticipate spending a greater percentage of their budget on lingerie than those without children (3 per cent of budget).
  • Men plan to spend a greater proportion of their budget on flowers (31 per cent of budget vs. 9 per cent of women's budget).
  • Ontarians (11 per cent of budget) are more likely to spend more of their budget on jewelry  than those in the prairies (2 per cent of budget) or British Columbians (3 per cent of budget).
  • Fully one-fifth (22 per cent) of shoppers' budgets is anticipated to be spent in others categories outside of cards, flowers, candies, jewelry and lingerie.

"So we know that British Columbians are sweet-toothed, that parents are still romantic and men continue to buy jewelry for the women in their lives," said Brisebois. "As the saying goes, ain't love grand?"

Did you know?

St. Valentine's Day is based on a highly unromantic event. Valentine, a high priest of Rome, did lose his head to love, but it was love of his Christian faith, which he refused to renounce. So on February 14 of either 269 or 270 A.D., the Roman emperor had him beheaded. No sweet nothings yet.

The feast of St. Valentine of February 14 was first established in 496 by Pope Gelasius I. Still, no flowers or roses.

However, by the 15th century, Valentine's Day had evolved into a romantic event, one for which cards, flowers and candy were sent. Many scholars attribute this change to the influence of the medieval concept of courtly love. Until the mid-1900s, most cards were made by hand. But everything old is new again - the "homemade card" look is a trend now found in many stores.

The poll was conducted by Harris/Decima using their national telephone omnibus. Data were collected from January 17-20th, 2013. A total of 1,000 completed surveys were conducted with a margin of error of +/-3.1 percentage points 19 times out of 20. The data were weighted to be reflective of the Canadian general population (age/gender by region) based on the Canadian Census.

Retail Council of Canada ( is the Voice of Retail. Founded in 1963, RCC is a not-for-profit association which represents more than 45,000 stores of all retail formats, including department, grocery, independent merchants, regional and national specialty chains, and online merchants.

SOURCE Retail Council of Canada