While the most romantic of holidays has been traditionally viewed as more of a "woman's holiday," there is strong evidence that men are getting gifted during Valentine's Day as well. The approximate $15.7 billion dollar holiday is mostly made up of gifts given to women, but women, on average, are ponying up around $51 per gift - about half of what men are reported as spending by DegreeSearch.org. As the roles of men and women and views of gifting become more flexible, we see an opportunity for a growing market for the gifted man. (For related reading, see How To Spend Valentine's Day On A Budget.)
Flowers are such a popular item during the holiday - making up for around $1.7 billion of that initial number of Valentine's sales - which it would seem that men were the recipients of some of the blooms and plants that marketers are selling during the month of February. A quick look at some of the more popular floral delivery sites prove that there is a push for men to at least enjoy the benefits of a flowering plant or a sports-themed bouquet. FTD's website even features a "For Him" section, complete with a vase of dyed roses to match fan gear for teams like Penn State's Nittany Lions. The tradition of floral gifts for men may have a way to go before catching on nation-wide. However, about 14% of women in the DegreeSearch.org survey admitted to sending flowers to themselves.

The way to a man's heart may very well indeed be through the stomach, as retailers ramp up their edible offerings in hopes of a few good men being lavished with snacks and treats. With candy still coming in at No. 3 in overall gifts purchased for Valentine's Day, we imagine many men are helping their ladies devour the excess chocolate and are perhaps getting a box to call their own as well. Retailers that offer drop-shipped, high-end gourmet items like steaks, lobster and beer will run promotions again this year, hoping to lure the uninspired girlfriend or wife into a product package that says "I Love You," and relieves her from the pressure of getting the perfect gift for her man.

If jewelry is the perfect gift for a gal, then watches are the male gift equivalent. The classy, yet comfy gift trend is ranking high on the best-seller lists of online shopping site Amazon.com. Brick-and-mortar jewelers are bringing their best watches front and center to inspire those last-minute shoppers, who aren't sure what their male Valentine will like most. Prices for the perfect watch are as varied as the styles available. Designer models fetch thousands of dollars, while a solid utility watch can be purchased for less than $100. Things to look for in a high-quality watch include fit and a good manufacturer's or retailer warranty, but the ability to return a not-right style may provide the highest value for this top Valentine's pick.

The honest truth about buying ladies' "underthings" is that it is often for the delight of the guy - not the girl - that the gift is given. Lingerie sales skyrocket during romantic holidays such as Valentine's Day, and while the male may often be the giver, it is much to his own benefit that this choice in gift is made. While sales for this category aren't expected to be as enthusiastic as other gift groups, there is a market for both the daring and delicate offerings of stores like Victoria's Secret and others.

The Bottom Line
Shopping for men can be almost as difficult as shopping for a boss or estranged relative, it seems. While they are usually more open about what it is that they want, the Valentine holiday industry is generally not as geared toward the gender as it is toward their female counterparts. Most men agree, however, that the thought does count, and as sales for 2012 continue to rise, we expect women are trying harder than ever to get this year's gift right. (For additional reading, see The Premium You Pay On A Valentine Gift.)

Related Articles
  1. Stock Analysis

    The Biggest Risks of Investing in Amazon Stock

    Find out which risks are most important to Amazon's shareholders. Learn which operational risks impact share prices and which financial risks affect investors.
  2. Stock Analysis

    How Does Jet.com Work and Make Money?

    Learn how Jet.com is taking on retail giants Amazon, Walmart and Costco by promising to save customers an average of 10 to 15% on over 10 million items.
  3. Stock Analysis

    Top 3 Stocks for the Coming Holiday Season

    If you want to buck the bear market trend by going long on consumer stocks, these three might be your best bets.
  4. Investing News

    This is the Fastest-Growing Consumer Complaint

    There’s no way to guarantee that your Social Security number won’t fall into the wrong hands. Here are some ways to make yourself less of a target.
  5. Stock Analysis

    How Does Casper Work and Make Money?

    Learn how the startup Casper is delivering a good night's sleep directly to customers' homes for a fraction of the cost of the competition.
  6. Stock Analysis

    4 Catalysts That Could Propel Best Buy's Stock Forward

    Understand the current Best Buy model and why it has been failing lately. Learn about the top potential catalysts that could increase Best Buy's stock price.
  7. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: iShares Globl Consumer Discretionary

    Explore analysis of the iShares Global Consumer Discretionary ETF, and learn about the suitability of this fund that tracks the consumer discretionary sector.
  8. Investing Basics

    A Gluten-Free Makeover For A Supermarket Near You

    The gluten-free diet is changing the food choices of a large number of consumers, and the food industry is taking note and making the needed adjustments.
  9. Stock Analysis

    These Are the Benefits of Investing in Wal-Mart

    Understand how Wal-Mart operates and what makes it a good company despite current stock performance. Learn the top four benefits of investing in Wal-Mart.
  10. Personal Finance

    Why Traditional Retailers Keep Struggling

    Here are some core reasons that the traditional retail industry is struggling today
  1. How can I invest in electronic retailing (e-tailing)?

    Electronic retail is one of the fastest growing segments of the economy. Every year, more people are choosing to purchase ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What is the difference between JIT (just in time) and CMI (customer managed inventory)?

    Just-in-time (JIT) inventory management focuses solely on the need to replenish inventory only when it is required, reducing ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What are some common ways product differentiation is achieved?

    There are many ways to achieve product differentiation, some more common than others. Horizontal Differentiation Horizontal ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What economic indicators are important to consider when investing in the retail sector?

    The unemployment rate and Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) rank as two of the most important economic indicators to consider ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What factors make it difficult to compare performance ratios between retail stocks?

    Companies that operate in the retail sector significantly differ in terms of their profitability and efficiency, making stock ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. Which socially responsible retailers appeal most to ethical investors?

    Ethical investors have many reasons to consider companies in the retail sector. The sector is broad and features an abundance ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Zero-Sum Game

    A situation in which one person’s gain is equivalent to another’s loss, so that the net change in wealth or benefit is zero. ...
  2. Capitalization Rate

    The rate of return on a real estate investment property based on the income that the property is expected to generate.
  3. Gross Profit

    A company's total revenue (equivalent to total sales) minus the cost of goods sold. Gross profit is the profit a company ...
  4. Revenue

    The amount of money that a company actually receives during a specific period, including discounts and deductions for returned ...
  5. Normal Profit

    An economic condition occurring when the difference between a firm’s total revenue and total cost is equal to zero.
  6. Operating Cost

    Expenses associated with the maintenance and administration of a business on a day-to-day basis.
Trading Center
You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!