Valentine’s Day-related purchasing rose sharply in 2015. Out of the three days, the day before Valentine’s Day (Friday, Feb. 13) saw the most credit transactions – 9.3 percent more than Feb. 12 and 5.7 percent more than Feb. 14.
The Members Group (TMG) found credit spending increased 21 percent, and CO-OP Financial Services and Saylent Technologies, Inc. (Saylent) found debit spending increased 16 percent for the three days culminating in Valentine’s Day compared to 2014.
Credit Spending Up According to TMG Research
The 21 percent increase in credit spending is based on transactions made from Thursday, Feb. 12 through Saturday, Feb. 14 by users carrying credit cards issued by TMG’s FI clients. TMG’s analysts attribute this to healthy growth in credit card portfolios of TMG’s clients and the fact cardholders used their credit cards on average 3.5 percent more this year as compared to last year. The analysis is via the card processor’s proprietary analysis tool, ClearTrend. The tool can provide similar data on a per-FI basis for the processing clients of TMG.
Additional data emerging from the TMG analysis includes:
• While Millennials (age 18-29) made 58 percent more transactions than the next closest age bracket, they spent far less. Millennials spent an average of $39.09 – 65 percent less than the next lowest age bracket (age 30-39).
• The early month-on-book cardholders (0 to 3 months) were the biggest spenders. They led all other categories in both transactions and dollars spent, spending 54 percent more than the next highest category (4 to 6 months).
• Out of the three days, the day before Valentine’s Day (Friday, Feb. 13) saw the most credit transactions – 9.3 percent more than Feb. 12 and 5.7 percent more than Feb. 14.
• Candy was a popular choice among last-minute shoppers. On Feb. 13, cardholders carrying credit cards issued by TMG clients spent a total of $23,572 on candy, a 253-percent increase from one week prior.
• Jewelry sales also topped out on Feb. 13 at $159,779 total spend. However, there were seven days in February in which total spending on jewelry exceeded $100,000 (compared to only one day in January) – indicating not everyone waited until the last minute.
CO-OP and Saylent Find Increase in Debit Card Spending
During the same Thursday through Saturday period, CO-OP and Saylent found a 16.45 percent increase in debit card spending. The results covered debit activity at all of the merchant types that Saylent tracks nationwide by members of credit unions that use CO-OP for transaction processing. The year-over-year comparison was performed through an advanced analytics solution, CO-OP Revelation, powered by Saylent, and was conducted by Saylent’s FInsights360 consulting team.
Additional data emerging from the CO-OP and Saylent analysis includes:
• People used their debit cards more this year when buying loved ones products to help them check off their “honey-do” lists and better their homes, with an almost 38 percent increase in transactions and close to 49 percent increase in spend at home supply warehouse stores.
• Consumers used their debit cards more to go out for romantic dinners and drinks, with a more than 33 percent increase in transactions and 47 percent jump in spend at restaurants, and a 79 percent increase in transactions and more than 79 percent increase in spend at bars compared to last year during this time period.
• Credit union members were not only taking out their debit cards more at restaurants and bars, but they also significantly increased their debit card usage at movie theaters, with a close to 99 percent transaction increase and almost 100 percent spend increase over this time period compared to 2014.
• Cosmetics stores also experienced a large jump in debit card usage year-over-year, with an almost 80 percent increase in transactions and a more than 73 percent increase in spend at these establishments. This continues the trend seen over 2014’s long Thanksgiving shopping weekend of an increase in debit card usage at cosmetics stores.
For more data on Holiday Spending access CardData®. For information and commentary on Holiday Spending visit the searchable CardFlash® Library of more than 58,000 articles published since 1995. RAM Research® forecasts on Holiday Spending are available exclusively through CardWeb.com.®