Canadians opened up their hearts and wallets on Valentine's Day

Merchants across Canada were feeling especially loved this Valentine's Day, according to Moneris Solutions Corporation (“Moneris”), Canada’s largest credit and debit card processor. The Moneris Spending Report reveals that purchases made on Valentine's Day increased by an impressive 7.84 per cent nationally, compared to the same day last year.

Alcohol led the way in spending, with a 52 per cent increase compared to the same day last year, followed closely by hotels and entertainment, at 45.06 per cent and 34.08 per cent, respectively. Specifically within the entertainment category, catching up on the latest romantic comedy was a popular Valentine's Day activity this year, as movie theatre ticket sales skyrocketed by 247 per cent, compared to 2012. Tickets to theatrical productions also increased significantly compared to the same day last year, by 107.97 per cent.

On the other hand, cosmetic stores saw their sales drop by -2.36 per cent, compared to the same day last year. Tourist attractions, such as museums and art galleries, remained fairly consistent with a 0.14 per cent increase in the total volume of spending when compared to Valentine's Day 2012.

Manitobans were the most generous valentines in 2013, as the province experienced a 19.38 per cent increase in total Valentine’s Day spending compared to the previous year, followed by Québec and Alberta at 14.58 and 10.94 per cent, respectively. Ontario showed a very modest spending growth of 4.39 per cent compared to 2012.

Not surprising, overall spending on Valentine’s Day was up 9.20 per cent compared to the previous Thursday, with the restaurant category experiencing the highest level of growth at 60.68 per cent, followed by apparel at 19.61 per cent. While flowers remained a hugely popular specialty retail item on Valentine’s Day – with an impressive spike in sales of 362.96 per cent compared to February 7 – florists experienced very little sales growth (at 3.83 per cent), compared to the same day last year. Jewellery sales – another popular retail item – also grew by 150.94 per cent compared to the previous Thursday and by 12.46 per cent compared to Valentine’s Day in 2012.

Valentine's Day spending seems to indicate that consumer confidence in Canada is holding strong. We anticipate this economic trend to continue as we round out the first quarter of 2013.

- Malcolm Fowler, Vice President of Marketing, Moneris Solutions

About the Moneris Spending Report

The Moneris Spending Report provides a snapshot of consumer spending activity in Canada by analyzing credit and debit card transaction data. As the market leader with the largest merchant base, Moneris presents detailed analysis and insight on a quarterly basis. The percentages cited are derived from actual sales volumes – the dollar values of credit and debit card transactions being processed by Moneris merchants.

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