Valentine's Day consumption: Switzerland joins in and spends more than ever before

The Mastercard Love Index shows how the Swiss store for Valentine's Day. In line with the global trend, people in Switzerland are spending more and more on the day of lovers.


For the Mastercard Love Index, card transactions were analyzed over a period of three years in over 200 countries. The index shows that spending on loved ones has risen by 49% worldwide since 2014, with an increase in transactions of 73%. In Switzerland, spending increased by 40 percent.

The majority of gift purchases are still made in person in stores. However, online shopping is on the rise: in Switzerland, the number of e-commerce transactions increased by 132% compared to Valentine's Day 2014. The trend can also be observed worldwide: An increase of 37 percent was seen across all markets.

In Switzerland, most purchases are made on the day before Valentine's Day. On February 13, over 500,000 transactions are observed in this country alone. However, the Swiss are not the only last-minute shoppers: February 13 also ranks first worldwide with a total of 47.4 million transactions.

Dinner instead of flowers

Sales of traditional Valentine's Day gestures, such as flowers, have remained constant worldwide in recent years. However, lovers today prefer to give the gift of a special evening for two: 75 percent of all transactions around Valentine's Day take place in restaurants and spending on a dinner together has risen by 102 percent worldwide compared to 2014.

In Switzerland, there was even a 15% decline in flower sales, while spending in restaurants increased by 47%. Looking at spending around Valentine's Day worldwide, a total of 52% of all transactions are made in restaurants.


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A step away from tradition: The data shows that spending on a traditional bouquet is declining in half of the most important markets: Asia and the Pacific showing a 34 percent decline and the US down 25 percent. Spending on stationery also fell in four key regions - Asia and the Pacific (-21 percent), Europe (-21 percent), the US (-23 percent) and the Middle East and Africa (-22 percent). Overall, sales of flowers and stationery now account for just 3% of Valentine's Day spending.

In person instead of online: Despite the steady growth of online, 95 percent of all Valentine's Day purchases are made in person in-store. Central and South America showed the biggest move to online, with a 250 percent increase compared to 2014, followed by the Middle East and Africa with a 56 percent increase. Globally, e-commerce transactions increased by 37%, while in-store transactions increased by 75%.

Regional trends:

Asia and the Pacific region

- 37 percent of spending is on hotels and motels - an increase of 33 percent since 2014
- 85 percent buy their Valentine's Day purchases in-store, despite the 81 percent increase in online purchases


- At 35 percent, most people spend their money on hotels and motels, an increase of 50 percent
- Europeans lead the field in online spending: 19 percent of Valentine's spending takes place via e-commerce sites
- At 67 percent, the greatest growth was seen in restaurants

Central and South America

- At 250 percent, online spending showed the greatest growth in this region
- Bucking the trend, this region saw a massive 271 percent increase in flower purchases between 2014 and 2016
- Jewelry is also still on trend, with an increase of 66 percent


- Americans' love of food is also evident on Valentine's Day, with 44 percent of spending happening at restaurants - a 130 percent increase
- 90 percent of purchases are made in-store
- Spending in hotels and motels increased by 57 percent over the last three years

Middle East and Africa

- The largest share of the budget is spent on hotels and motels at 43 percent, followed by jewelry at 22 percent
- Three quarters of purchases (75 percent) are made in person in the store
- Bucking the trend, flower sales rose by 22 percent

Photo: Karen Warfel

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