What these Cities are Buying on Valentine’s Day

Where You Live Linked to What You’ll Buy on Valentine’s Day

by Katie Twohy on 2-11-16 in Holidays

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and love is in the air. The National Retail Federation estimates that US consumers will spend a record $20 billion, or $142 per person, on purchases related to Valentine’s Day in 2016.

Aside from the typical flowers and chocolates, what other products will people shop for before the holiday? Where will they be shopping? To get a better picture of the Valentine’s Day shopper, we analyzed 2015 data to learn more about shoppers’ behavior during the two-week period* leading up to Valentine’s Day. Highlights and key trends are as follows:

#1) Regional Variation

When looking at the United States as a whole, it’s clear that shoppers’ preferences vary by region. Shoppers in dark blue regions are more likely to shop at women’s apparel stores, while shoppers in light blue regions are more likely to shop at stores that sell accessories.

Valentine's Day - Regional Variation

#2) New York vs. L.A.

Taking a closer look at two of America’s biggest — and most frequently compared — cities, our data naturally reveals that shoppers in each city exhibit different shopping preferences during the weeks before Valentine’s Day.

Valentine's Day - New York vs Los Angeles

#3) City by City

Will people in your city prefer to shop for accessories or women’s apparel this Valentine’s Day? In most cities, shopper visits showcase clear preferences for one type of shopping over another. Check out the map below to see what type of stores shoppers in your city are most likely to visit.

Valentine's Day - City by City

#4) Individual Callouts

In reviewing the data at a more granular, city-by-city level, we delighted in coming across the occasional amusing fact about shoppers’ preferences in different cities. Some facts were merely surprising, while others may serve to further substantiate stereotypes. A few of our favorites include:

  • People in Boston enjoy shopping for footwear. In the two-week period, shoe stores received 15.6% of all shopper visits.
  • If you’re shopping in Las Vegas, you’re probably shopping for jewelry or some other accessory. In fact, you’re nearly two times as likely to be shopping for an accessory as you are to be shopping for women’s apparel.
  • You might think that shoppers in a city such as, say, San Francisco are most likely to visit a store to buy technology, but think again. Visits in our electronics and wireless vertical were highest in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, of all places — making up 26.6% of total retail visits in the two-week period leading up to Valentine’s Day.

For more information on year-over-year trend analyses and shopper visit data at the national, regional, and zip code level for multiple retail categories, check out our Advanced Market Intelligence Solution or contact us.

 *“Two-week period” refers to NRF calendar weeks 1 and 2 of 2015.

Read more posts by Katie Twohy

Katie Twohy is the Vice President of Global Marketing for ShopperTrak, where she is responsible for leading all marketing efforts across the U.S., APAC, EMEA and Latin America regions. Twohy has served in roles of increasing responsibility with ShopperTrak, including the Director of Marketing and Product Manager for reporting services.

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