Steve Kaplan's Blog

February 14, 2011

Valentine’s Day: A $16 Billion Industry

Filed under: Steve Insight — stevekaplan @ 2:04 pm

Valentine’s Day isn’t just a day to express love…

valentine'sday it’s a way to make money. Big money.  Apparently, it all started when Hallmark decided to create holidays to persuade people into buying cards. It worked. Not only did Hallmark leverage this “holiday” into major greeting card sales (according to Hallmark, 141 million Valentine’s Day cards are sold worldwide), but Hallmark also created a lucrative holiday for several other entrepreneurs to bank off of, including the 10 listed below.  For more information about these entrepreneurs, check out this Business Insider article.


  • Daniel Chase created conversation hearts; 100,000 pounds of these conversation hearts are sold each Valentine’s Day.
  • Jim McCann founded 1-800-Flowers. He gets one million NEW Valentine’s Day customers every year. As w result, he hires 6,000 additional workers to work on this holiday. Talk about a new business success story!
  • Jules Armellini and his wife founded Armellini Express. They transport 4.5 times their usual volume of flowers before Valentine’s day.
  • This is a favorite of mine. John Sortino invented Vermont Teddy Bears. He’s made multi-millions on lazy men during Valentine’s season!
  • Milton S. Hershey- founder of Hershey- is behind many of the 36 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolate sold each Valentine’s Day.
  • Irene Steiner created PajamaGrams; Profits double every Valentine’s Day
  • Way to go, Roy Raymond!  Creator of Victoria’s Secret Roy Raymond  profits on the $1.6 billion that consumers spend on clothing for Valentine’s Day. WOW!
  • Charles Lewis Tiffany and Teddy Young – creators of Tiffany & Co- help Americans propose on Valentine’s Day. According to the National Retail Federation, 11% of American couples say “yes”on Valentine’s Day.
  • Thanks to founder Joyce C. Hall, Hallmark sells more than 1,600 Valentine’s Day card designs.
    Hallmark creates more than 1,600 Valentine’s Day greeting card designs. The company first offered Valentine’s Day cards in 1913 and began producing their own cards in 1916.
  • Ben Franklin created the concept for The United States Postal Service. The USPS handle 5-7% more greeting cards and small packages the week before Valentine’s Day compared to most other weeks of the year.
  • Last, but clearly not least is founder of Hallmark,  Joyce C. Hall. The company first offered Valentine’s Day cards in 1913. Now, they offer over 1600 designs and sell 141 million Valentine’s Day Greeting Cards.

Big lessons here. What can we learn from Hallmark and the entrepreneurs who created the companies that drive this holiday?


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