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The Greeting Card Association (GCA) anticipates that U.S. consumers will purchase more than 145 million greeting cards this year for Valentine's Day -- the second-largest holiday for giving greeting cards, after Christmas.
The GCA is optimistic that Valentine's Day card sending will be strong, as the industry experienced an upbeat Christmas card-sending season. Also, more valentines tend to be exchanged when the holiday occurs on a weekday – as it will again this year with Feb. 14 falling on a Thursday.
“As Valentine’s Day approaches, consumers will again descend on the greeting card aisle in search of the perfect expression of love or friendship – whether romantic, sweet, funny or risqué," said Susan January, GCA president and VP of Boulder, Colo.-based Leanin' Tree. "There is something for everyone when shopping for Valentine’s Day, as children, grandparents and everyone in between are selecting the cards that will be the perfect expression of love for the special people they care for most."
For kids, packaged valentines featuring animated characters or singing superstars remain popular for exchanging with fellow schoolmates or neighborhood friends, while women often send Valentine’s Day cards to other women as an opportunity to "share a joke" or bemoan their romantic status.
Popular design trends this year include humorous images; animals such as owls and cats; French motifs; handcrafted cards with attachments such as gems and bows; and cards that express love without specifically saying "Happy Valentine's Day.”
Women who are shopping for valentines for the men in their lives will find more neutral or masculine color palettes available to them as opposed to the traditional red and pink. And, as has been a trend with all types of greeting cards, Valentine’s Day cards will feature more unique and engaging innovations, such as sound and motion -- elements that make them more interactive and enhance the "keepsake factor."
Established in 1941, the White Plains, N.Y.-based Greeting Card Association represents greeting card and stationery publishers, as well as suppliers to the industry.