Look, I’ve been at this game a long time. I set Cleopatra and Marc Antony on a path to ruin. I set J-Lo and Marc Anthony on a path to eternal happiness … until they bought a stake in the Miami Dolphins. No one escapes that dumpster fire unscathed.
My point is, I’ve seen the blissful highs and the tragic lows. For centuries, I’ve lived with the gratitude and the scorn, the prayers and the insults.
Things changed when Chaucer linked romantic love to the celebration of St. Valentine. All of a sudden, every February, people were lavishing gifts on each other in the name of love! It picked up big time in 18th century England when flowers, candy and greeting cards became the norm.
That was when I realized it was time for Cupid to get paid.
I already controlled the demand side of the equation! All that was left was to get into the supply game. It started small with a few Cupid’s Closet locations in London.
With that nest egg, the rise of the US stock market and the ever increasing commercialization of Valentine’s Day … you’re looking at the wealthiest cherub on Earth and above it. To quote Lorde, “Everybody's like Cristal, Maybach, diamonds on your timepiece. Jet planes, islands, tigers on a gold leash …”
I AM caught up in your love affair, and that’s how I roll. Emerald-studded bow, platinum arrows with ruby tips and quiver by Dolce & Gabbana. Sailing the Med in my 90’ yacht, the Lubber’s Quarrel.
But to stay on top of all this I need to be able to see quickly and easily how the Valentine’s economy is doing. That’s where SAS Visual Analytics comes in. You can check out a screenshot of one of my dashboards below, but here’s the deal.
Greeting cards are the backbone of my investments. Have you seen what those things cost these days? Be sure to get the ones made on recycled paper. I’ll be over here recycling my empty Cristal bottles.
I can see where chocolate sales are brisk and where I may need to spend some extra time sowing the seeds of love. You know what says “I love you” better than a dozen Godiva chocolates? Two dozen.
Roses, you are the gift that keeps on giving. To me. Where would I be without the last-minute lovers making frantic, down-to-the-wire stops at the grocery store to buy classic red roses in a green vase? You guys are great.
Overall Valentine’s Day spend is on the way back up after dipping a bit. I’ll be honest. I was getting a bit complacent…a little too comfortable with the opulence. It was around the time I hired a chef that specializes only in foie gras that I realized I was losing myself in the lifestyle. So, I spent some extra time in the field and things are rebounding nicely. Lesson learned.
I also keep some stats on my dashboard for quick reference…and my amusement. Valentine’s gifts for your pets? I mean, I have NOTHING to do with that…but it still helps line my Gucci wallet.
And just when things were getting boring and all “Pina Colada Song”-like, BOOM, along comes the internet and dating sites. It was like a target list for my arrows. A $2.2B industry in 2014 in the US and it keeps growing. My stock broker thought I was crazy 10 years ago: “What kind of person would date on the Interweb??” He’s no longer my broker.
As you can tell, the love biz has been pretty good to me. And yeah, I’ve taken advantage of my position, but I’m still helping people find their soulmates. So my Valentine’s message to you is, don’t ever believe love and romance are gone from the world. They just might be vacationing on the Amalfi Coast with Kim and Kanye.
Cupid's dashboard data sources:
- Chocolate map: International Cocoa Organization.
- Flower data: Data collected by IPSOS-Insight FloralTrends Consumer Tracking Study, 2005; and eNation National On-Line Research, Synovate, 2014.
- Valentine’s spend graph and various stats: National Retail Federation.
- Online dating stats: IBISWorld “Dating Services in the US: Market Research Report”, Nov 2014.