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When love is like fire...it burns a hole in your pocket

Every year, Valentine’s Day turns out to be a jackpot for businesses and this year is going to be no different
By Taenaz Shakir | February 14, 2017

In the 2004 romantic science fiction drama film, ‘The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,' there is a scene where the protagonist Joel Barish, potrayed brilliantly by Jim Carrey raises an idea about the misery that is Valentine’s Day.”Today is a holiday invented by greeting card companies to make people feel like cr*p,” he thinks out loud.

While most single people may nod their heads in unison to this idea, there are people (single and otherwise) who celebrate this day and also the preceding week (the Valentine’s week) with much vigour. That being said, nobody can match the enthusiasm of chocolate companies, florists, card shops, bakers and restaurants when it comes to Valentine ’s Day. No, not even racy teenagers.

The chances of me ever owning a chocolate shop is rare. Chocoholics ideally should never own one. But boy if I did own one, I would have some fun around this time of the year. These poor fools were anyway stupid enough to fall in love and celebrate this most hyped day, why not lure them into splurging their savings and make some gigantic profits?

Every Valentine’s Day turns out to be a jackpot for businesses and this year is going to be no different. Latest MasterCard Consumer Purchasing Priorities Survey shows that more than half of Indian consumers plan on going out for a meal on Valentine’s Day i.e. 55 per cent of their customers. A whopping 42 per cent i.e. more than one third the customers plan to spend time with their loved ones by going to the movies.

The survey goes on to say that a fifth of the consumers (21 per cent) plans to buy a gift for their loved ones on Valentine’s Day, which on an average would cost around Rs. 1500. While most Valentines play it safe with their gift choices such as flowers, cards and chocolates, there are few who invest for the long term, splurging on gifts like jewellery, clothes, leather goods and high-end gadgets.

MasterCard Love Index, which is created by analyzing credit, debit and prepaid card transactions over a three-year period show that though flowers used to be considered an ideal gift to be given to a loved one, lesser is being spent on this segment. Whereas there is a surge in how much people are willing paying at restaurants. From 2014 to 2016, the spending at restaurant has increased by 91 per cent, accounting for more than 50 per cent of all transactions made through MasterCard.

Valentine’s day is one of the biggest spending days of the year, worldwide. However, Indians are comparatively modest in their spending front on this day compared to the western consumers. The Indian consumer still evolving. Especially in the case of millennials, one can easily observe the heavy shift towards online shopping.

For a country with only around 4 per cent Christian population, in India even Christmas is celebrated extravagantly in almost all our cities. This makes it very clear that it is consumerism that is inducing culture and not vice versa. While one must embrace all cultures and celebrate the spirit of love, it is always wiser to be a better friend, parent, child or lover by just being there for them. So post that intimate letter, make time just to be there for them, give such a gift to your loved one for which the price can’t be found online. Like the MasterCard ad says, “There are some things money can’t buy, for everything else, there is MasterCard.”

PS: MasterCard does not pay me to say all this. It’s Just a nice quote. Just saying. 

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