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Valentine's Day is a $17 billion per year industry.

Stashed in: Stanford, G4!, Valentine's Day, Victoria's Secret, Factoids, Cognitive Bias

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From "9 companies that turned Valentine's Day into a $17 billion industry":

Victoria's Secret Founded: 1977

Who invented it: Roy Raymond, a graduate of Stanford University's Graduate School of Business, opened the first Victoria’s Secret store at a shopping center in Palo Alto, Calif., in 1977. The idea was to offer a store with a laid-back atmosphere where men would feel comfortable purchasing lingerie for their ladies. 

During its first year in business, the company earned $500,000, and within five years Victoria’s Secret had five stores, a popular catalogue, and a gross income of $6 million per year. Raymond sold the company to Limited Brands in 1982.

Why it's a tradition: Unlike roses and chocolate, lingerie is basically a gift for the guy giving it.

Victoria's Secret holds big sales around the holiday each year as an added incentive.

Ashley Lutz adds more Valentine's Day business facts:

Americans will spend $17.3 billion on Valentine's Day gifts this year, according to the National Retail Federation

We compiled some surprising facts about gifting during the romantic holiday. 

  • Men have higher expectations than women. Men expect their partner will spend $230 on a gift for them, while women only expect $196, according to a survey by Chase bank. 

  • Consumers spend an average of $135.10 on Valentine's Day gifts. That's up 4% from last year, according to a study by IBISWorld. 

  • Married couples don't try as hard. Dating or engaged couples spend $20 to $30 more than married couples, according to a study by Big Research. 

  • A ton of people don't spend anything for Valentine's Day. About 18% of people in relationships surveyed by RetailMeNot were planning on spending $0 on their partner. 

  • Most people are pleased with the gifts they receive. RetailMeNot reports that 63% of people thought their significant other was a "great gift-giver." 

  • Impractical gifts still rule. About half of Valentine's Day customers will buy candy, 37% will give their partner flowers, and 19% will purchase jewelry, according to the National Retail Federation. Practical gifts like clothes or electronics were less popular. 

  • Men spend twice as much as women. Men spend $108.38 on gifts, whereas women shell out $49.41, according to the National Retail Federation. 

  • Popular gifts like jewelry and lingerie are actually cheaper in February. According to DealNews, major retailers discount these items in order to get customers in stores. 

Still need to go shopping?  Here Are Valentine's Day Gifts People Actually Appreciate 

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