‘‘FINANCIAL CRISIS DOES NOT AFFECT LOVE’’!!
HOW DID THE GREEKS CELEBRATE SAINT VALENTINE’S DAY?
Valentine’s Day, also known as the Day of Lovers, was founded in memory of St. Valentine, a witness of the Catholic Christian church, in 496 AD by Pope Gelasios A. The celebration of this day began by sending greeting cards on February 14th, a practice that was adopted in the seventeenth century in Great Britain. Since then, consumers celebrate Valentine’s Day all over the world by offering gifts to their beloved ones, such as romantic dinners, cosmetics, flowers, chocolates, cards, etc. In 2017 in the United States, Valentine’s Day brought a turnover of $ 19 billion, of which $ 4.5 billion was spent on cosmetics, $ 4.4 billion for dining in restaurants, $ 1.98 billion for flowers, and $ 1.14 billion for greeting cards. The rest were spent on sweets and clothes.
In 2018 on Valentine’s Day, Greek consumers, in the midst of the economic depression, spent on average 43.6 Euros with a minimum of 2 Euros and a maximum of 1,507 Euros.
The research aimed at studying the behavior and attitudes of the Greeks on Valentine’s Day was conducted by the Marketing Laboratory MARLAB of the University of Macedonia. MARLAB’s research was conducted through social media on February 14 and 15, 2018, in a nationwide sample of 692 people, with the scientific supervision of the MARLAB’s Director, Professor, Mrs. Rodoula Tsiotsou.
THE BUYING BEHAVIOR OF THE GREEKS
Specifically, 25% of the sample mentioned that they bought Valentine’s Day gifts, while 36% received gifts from their beloved ones. Of those who bought gifts, 71% offered them to his / her partner, 9% to his / her spouse, and 7% to his / her friend. The rest of 13% offered gifts to parents, children, relatives, colleagues, and fellow students. Of those who received gifts this day, 73% received them from a partner, 8.2% from friends, 8.5% from the spouse and the remaining 10.3% from parents, children, relatives, colleagues and fellow students.
Concerning the gifts they bought, 37% of the sample bought sweets, 28% bought flowers, 16.4% bought clothes, 14.8% offered a romantic dinner, and 4% bought cosmetics. Before purchasing the above products, 41% of the sample visited stores, 19% searched the internet online, 15% searched on the internet via mobile phone, 3% searched the web via tablets, and 22% did not conduct any research before. 81% of the survey participants bought the gifts from stores, while only 10% bought them online and the rest 9% bought gifts from the shops and the internet. Consumers paid mostly with cash (81%), versus a 19% who used credit card/debit card.
Regarding the question of how they spent Valentine’s Day, 48% declared that was like every other day, 20% mentioned that they did not design something special, because they do not believe in it, 9% celebrated it with a romantic dinner at home, 7% with friends, 9% with a romantic dinner in a restaurant and 4% alone.
Several reasons have been mentioned by the 75% of the sample that didn’t purchase a gift. Specifically, they stated: «I don’t have a partner/ I’m not in a relationship», «for economic reasons», «it is not a celebration/inconsiderate celebration/ I can’t find a reason to celebrate it», «it is a commercial fest in which I don’t like to be involved in like that», «it is not even a celebration! Celebrating love one day of the year is degradation of love! Love celebrates every day! », «because neither does my partner offer me presents this day, as he/she considers this celebration to be a commercial one».
With regard to people’s attitude towards Valentine’s Day, the results of the survey showed that the majority of the Greek customers are indifferent to this day (61.8%). Only 24.9% of the sample had positive to very positive attitude, while 13.3% stated negative to very negative attitude. However, when there was a connection between their attitude and their relationship status, (52% of the sample was in a relationship, 27% was single, 17% was married and 4% was divorced), it was realized that there is a correlation between attitude and relationship status. Namely, people who were in a relationship demonstrated, in a bigger rate, positive and very positive attitude (32.2%) to Valentine’s Day related to the married ones (20.5%), to people who were not in a relationship (14.9%) and to those who were divorced (13.6%). Furthermore, divorced people expressed, in a large scale, negative or very negative attitude (181%) in comparison to people who were in a relationship (11.2%), to married people (16.1%) and to those who were single (70%).
In conclusion, it can be referred that Valentine’s Day is only slightly adopted by the Greek society and it is probably faced indifferently from its majority. The consumers who celebrate this day are mainly people who are in a romantic relationship or they are married and they are actively involved in celebrating it, by purchasing gifts or by preparing a romantic dinner for their beloved ones. People who don’t celebrate this day is because either they cannot afford it or because they believe that Valentine’s Day is a commercial celebration, or they believe that they should express their love in a more regular basis.
There were 692 participants who responded to the questionnaire with the 24% of them being men and the other 76% women. In regard to age, 61% was 18-24 years old, 27% was between 25-35 years old, 11% was 36-50 years old and the rest 1% was 51 plus. Relating to the income, 38% mentioned an income lower than 10000€, 32% was ranged between 10001€ and 20000€, 16% between 20001 and 30000€ and the rest 14% mentioned an income higher than 30001€. The sample was nationwide and originated from 43 different districts of the country.