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Gift Givers Will Spend More This Valentine’s Day on Gifts, Reports Unity Marketing


STEVENS, Pa. -- January 21, 2005 -- Final year-end tallies of the Christmas 2004 season are still coming in but for some retailers it was disappointing. While many luxury retailers, like Coach, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom, and internet merchants performed superbly, other retailers targeting the mass market saw their sales increase by 5 percent or less.

This year more retailers are depending upon after-Christmas spending to hike their overall performance, since many retailers don’t book gift card sales until they are redeemed and more gift cards were given this past year than ever before. As a result, retailers are eagerly anticipating the next major holiday gift event, St. Valentine’s Day on February 14, for a spur to sales.

“Valentine’s Day is going to be more important than ever for retailers and marketers, because many retailers experienced a somewhat disappointing Christmas 2004,” says luxury marketing expert Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing and author of Let Them Eat Cake: Marketing Luxury to the Masses -- as well as the Classes.

“Retailers and marketers need to understand that shoppers have a very different psychology when they are buying gifts than when shopping for themselves. This study provides insights into the ’why’ that motivates gift shoppers.”

In the latest research about gift purchasing and giving, Unity Marketing found that seventy percent of gift-givers honor Valentine’s Day by giving a present. Valentine’s Day gifters will spend approximately $135 this year buying gifts, up 6 percent from last year’s average of $126. Out of the seven major gifting holidays, Valentines Day is the third most widely gifted holiday, after Christmas (96 percent) and Mother’s Day (74 percent). Key findings about Valentine’s Day gift-giving, based on a survey of 950 gift givers who spent over $250 throughout the year, not just at Christmas, are reported in Unity Marketing’s Gifting Report.

Gifting Is Exponential Marketing Opportunity

Gifting is a powerful strategic opportunity for retailers, especially since the major gifting holidays like Valentine’s Day and Christmas, account for just over half of the gifters’ annual budgets, leaving the rest available throughout the year for occasion-driven gift giving--birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, housewarming and new babies.

“Gifting represents a rare exponential marketing opportunity where retailers can touch two target markets directly: the gift buyer and the recipient. For retailers, gifting has the advantages and promotional marketing power of sampling and word-of-mouth, but it magnifies and intensifies that power. Retailers need a gifting strategy that takes advantage of its full relationship potential, not just for holidays, but throughout the rest of year.”

About the Gifting Report

This new consumer insights study, Gifting Report: The Who, What, Where, How Much and Why of Gift Giving & Shopping, With Special Christmas Gift Season 2004 Update presents an experiential research perspective of the gifting market.

Gifting represents a $253 billion market. That means almost one out of every ten dollars spent at retail is to buy a gift. A key finding from this research is that the majority of gift shopping takes place throughout the year, not just during the last two months. Out of the total annual gifting budget just over $2,000, the typical gifter spends only 40 percent at Christmas, leaving 60 percent of gift spending occurring over the course of the year.

This in depth report, based upon both qualitative and quantitative research, provides powerful new insights into why people buy gifts and ways marketers and retailers can gain a greater share of gifting spending. It includes gift-giving incidence and spending throughout the whole year, including 7 major gifting holidays and 12 gifting occasions (e.g. birthdays, anniversary, wedding, friendship, etc.). The personalities of three different types of gift givers with different gift giving and buying motivations are also explored.

The key attributes of what makes a good gift are presented, as are the types of stores where gifters prefer to shop and why. How people choose across the wide range of gifting options is explored, including gift certificates and cash, home furnishings, entertainment, apparel, gifts of experience, etc.

Added-Value Special Report on Christmas 2004 Gifting Included

Results of a Christmas 2004 holiday gifting survey conducted right after the Presidential election updates this report. For more information about the study, click here:

About Pam Danziger and Unity Marketing

Pamela N. Danziger is a nationally recognized expert specializing in consumer insights for luxury marketers, whether they sell luxury to the masses or the ’classes.’ She is president of Unity Marketing, a marketing consulting firm she founded in 1992.

Advising such clients as Lenox, Cartier, Herend, Crystal Cruises, Spring Air, Sears, The World Gold Council, The Conference Board and American Express, Danziger taps consumer psychology to help clients navigate and master the changing luxury marketplace. Her latest book, Let Them Eat Cake: Marketing Luxury to the Masses--as well as the Classes, (Dearborn Trade Publishing, $27, hardcover) is in book stores now. She is the author of the recent book, Why People Buy Things They Don’t Need: Understanding and Predicting Consumer Behavior (Chicago: Dearborn Trade Publishing, 2004).

She has appeared on CNN’s In the Money, NBC’s Today Show, CNBC, CNN International, CNNfn, CBS News Sunday Morning, Fox News’ Your World with Neil Cavuto, NPR’s Marketplace and is frequently called upon by the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, American Demographics, Women’s Wear Daily, Forbes, USA Today, Associated Press, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune for commentary and insight.

For media, Unity Marketing can make tables, charts and graphs available about the gifting market upon request.


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