What should you get your friend for Galentine’s Day? Everyone from Hallmark to Walmart suddenly has an idea.
Women across the country are embracing a ladies-only spin on Valentine’s called Galentine’s Day, a celebration of female friendship marked by brunches, pink drinks-and each other. “No boys allowed,” says 35-year-old project manager Amanda Nietzel, who is hosting a Galentine’s Day brunch Feb. 9 in Brooklyn, N.Y.
The idea has been gathering steam for a few years but is hitting the mainstream now, as retailers and restaurants seize on a way to rejuvenate Valentine’s Day. Only 51% of Americans plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year, down from a high of 63% in 2007, according to a National Retail Federation survey.
NPD retail analyst Marshal Cohen, who says younger consumers associate Valentine’s with their parents, estimates the Galentine’s phenomenon could raise Valentine’s Day revenues by as much as 20% in the next three years.
Etsy says searches related to “Galentine’s Day invitation” increased 32% in the three months before Feb. 14 compared with last year. Shellby Coyle, who runs Etsy shop Witty Kitty Creations, says Galentine’s cards featuring messages such as “ladies celebrating ladies” and “why can’t every day be Galentine’s day?” eclipse sales of traditional Valentine’s Day products. “Nobody likes Valentine’s Day anymore,” she says.
Galentine’s, by contrast, is “about celebrating friendships and each other,” says 26-year-old Kathleen Burns, who’s hosting a “Galen-Tiki” party Feb. 10 featuring pineapple upside-down pancakes and rum drinks with umbrellas. “It’s not about relationships and love,” says the residence hall director at New York’s Columbia University.