The Story Behind Germany’s Lack of Love For Valentines Day

By Stephen Fuchs on Email @StephenWFuchs

Walmart Valentines Display

The US is gearing up for one of the biggest days to commercialize on love with spending skyrocketing into the billions, but German retailers looking to cash in on this yearly tradition find themselves struggling to get their customers on board. DW looked into why German’s just don’t have a love affair with St. Valentine and what businesses are doing to try to turn that around.

Just about every store in the US is pushing Valentines Day gift ideas to anyone that sets foot inside, but in Germany the approach is a bit more subtle. Yes there are signs posted in some stores, mainly florists and jewelers, but their purpose is more to remind shoppers that the holiday exists in the first place.

Western media has helped introduce the Americanized love affair with February 14 and social media has played a major role in pushing the idea, but with two-thirds of Germans saying that the theatrics of the holiday rub them the wrong way, the chances of Valentines Day becoming a commercial hit is not something businesses should expect in the near future.

DW asked some students what they thought about the holiday of love and one student responded that “every day should be about love.” He was quick to add “my girlfriend still would probably be mad if I didn’t get her anything”. So okay, maybe Germany isn’t all that far off.


Source: DW
Photo: frankieleon | Flickr CC BY 2.0

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Stephen Fuchs
Stephen founded German Pulse and LGBT Germany out of a passion to introduce Americans to a Germany that goes beyond beer and polka (although with enough beer he has been known to polka it up a bit). He's a coffee addict, lover of wine and good times, a hit in the kitchen and editor of TV commercials. You can follow him on Twitter (@StephenWFuchs) to find out a lot more.
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