February 12, 2021
Valentine’s Day may have begun as a feast to honor one or two of the St. Valentines of early Christianity, but it has since evolved into an annual tradition where people express their fondness for each other – often by way of a gift or other token of affection.
According to a survey by the National Retail Federation (NRF), 51% of Americans plan to celebrate the day, spending an estimated $21.8 billion in the process. Of those, 73% say it’s important to observe the occasion given the pandemic. The most popular gift items on Valentine’s Day include greeting cards, candy and flowers. Some 54% of consumers participating in the NRF survey plan to include candy as a gift, with 44% expressing their affections via greeting cards and 37% using flowers. Rounding out the most popular gifts are an evening out (24%), gift card (21%), clothing (20%) and jewelry (18%).
This is all good news for confectioners like Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory Inc. (Tii:RMCF) and The Hershey Company (Tii:HSY); luxury jewelry and specialty retailer Tiffany & Co. (Tii:TIF); upscale department store chain Dillard’s Inc. (Tii:DDS); floral and foods gift retailer and distributor 1-800-Flowers.com Inc. (Tii:FLWS); and of course, Amazon.com Inc. (Tii:AMZN).
But if you feel that these traditional options are old hat, don’t look at those sets of bubble baths and perfume-laden soaps at the drug store (seriously, no one likes those). Instead, consider a gift that shows you really understand what they enjoy. Short on ideas? Think about their hobbies or interests – or activities they engage in or plan to engage in down the road. Here are a few companies with products that may well please your favorite hobbyist.
Got a golfer in your life? Callaway Golf Co. (Tii:ELY) makes and distributes a wide array of golfing equipment and accessories. The company also has a division dedicated specifically to the sale of pre-owned golf clubs, which are great for the bargain-hunter. The company is faring well as a result of a rise in recreational golf – a sport that consumers can play with friends while remaining socially distant outdoors. For its third quarter, the company reported that diluted earnings per share totaled $0.54, a 69% increase.
How about a video game that you can enjoy together? With the PlayStation 5 by Sony Corp. (Tii:SNE) and Xbox by Microsoft Corp. (Tii:MSFT) on the market (technically, given both platforms’ supply issues), video game developers are anticipated to release a robust lineup of new games that capitalize on the latest graphics and processor capabilities. The gaming industry is massive and keeps growing at a rapid rate – estimated as a $159.3 billion industry in 2020. Its popularity has risen since as millions of new gamers entered the market during last year’s lockdown.
Electronic Arts Inc. (Tii:EA), a developer of video games for consoles, PCs, and mobile devices, has an impressive lineup that includes The Sims, Madden NFL, Plants v. Zombies and more. The developer made headlines last week when it announced that it would relaunch its EA Sports College Football games. The popular series was put on ice after the release of NCAA Football 14 when college players filed a class-action lawsuit against EA for using their likeness without compensation. EA is working to include over 100 universities, their uniforms, mascots, stadiums and fight songs in the new release. However, it will not include names or depictions of real-life student-athletes at those universities.
If your significant other is more of a shutterbug – and let’s face it, despite the ubiquity of cellphone cameras, most photographers prefer a dedicated device – consider a gift that shows you understand their love of all things photographic. Founded in 1937, Canon Inc. (Tii:CAJ) has long been a leader in camera design and functionality and in photocopiers, printers and medical imaging equipment. Its newest camera, the EOS M50 Mark II, is designed to appease photographers and content creators like vloggers. The Mark II features a powerful 24.1 Megapixel CMOS (APS-C) sensor that can capture high-resolution images and 4K videos.
Does your partner’s hair color change with the weather? Many DIY beauty lovers turn to products by REVIV3 ProCare Co. (Tii:RVIV), an emerging global e-commerce brand in the $90 billion hair care products industry, or Sally Beauty Holdings, Inc. (Tii:SBH), the largest distributor of professional beauty products in the U.S. based on store count. The company offers a range of dyes, hair treatments and cosmetics for those who prefer to put their own spin on their look.
Whatever you decide to do this Valentine’s Day, be sure to pick out that perfect gift or experience that illustrates how you feel about that special someone. It may help ensure many more happy Valentine’s Days to come.
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