February 14, 2013
Ronald Friedman, Co-Leader, Retail/Consumer Products Industry Group, Quoted in Forbes Article "Valentine's Day 2013: What's Behind This $18.6 Billion Holiday"
By Abram Brown
Comparing a sweetheart to a summer’s day may be one of the last pieces of lovemaking available without a price tag.
Valentine’s Day–a holiday with origins in a third-century beheading, stoning and ritualized beating of a recalcitrant priest–is today a $18.6 billion event. For retailers, it’s the first bit of pleasantness since Christmas; the period between the two holidays is usually marked by a lull and few shoppers. More than $4 billion will be spent on jewelry alone, at places like Tiffany and Signet. And, according to the National Retail Federation, an equal number of shoppers will head to department stores (a boon for Macy’s and J.C. Penney’s) as to discount outlets. Though, we pity the lover who shops exclusively at Wal-Mart.
“It’s a holiday with a lot of cash. It’s a lot of sales,” says Ron Friedman, who leads Marcum Consulting’s retail business. “Although, it’s pretty short-lived. The flowers die, the candy gets eaten up, and the lingerie gets destroyed in a couple minutes.”