Sweets for the sweet: employment at gift-related retailers

February 12, 2016

Valentine's Day comes this weekend. Many shoppers will seek sweets for the sweet—the traditional gifts of flowers, candy, wine, or jewelry and the accompanying Valentine's Day cards. They may find that there are fewer brick-and-mortar shops selling these gift items than in years past, but the number of businesses offering online shopping is larger than ever.

Gift-related retail establishments, 2001–14
Year Electronic shopping Mail-order houses Gift, novelty,
and
souvenir stores
Beer, wine,
and
liquor stores
Jewelry stores    Florists    Confectionery
and
nut stores

2001

3,625 4,823 36,353 24,978 27,177 23,691 3,520

2002

3,787 4,899 35,773 25,095 26,848 23,104 3,327

2003

4,224 4,914 34,842 25,295 26,818 22,314 3,201

2004

5,015 4,984 33,735 25,418 26,642 21,576 3,071

2005

6,157 5,036 32,411 25,682 26,369 20,929 2,983

2006

7,310 4,962 31,257 26,205 26,130 20,232 3,014

2007

8,399 4,898 29,884 26,597 25,803 19,551 3,032

2008

9,413 4,779 28,870 26,832 25,154 18,618 2,993

2009

10,295 4,631 27,204 27,024 23,770 17,416 2,997

2010

11,157 4,445 25,783 27,440 22,750 16,472 2,989

2011

12,337 4,344 24,731 27,800 22,237 15,523 3,007

2012

13,776 4,288 23,942 28,419 22,080 14,891 3,005

2013

15,419 4,248 23,265 28,974 21,932 14,334 3,032

2014

17,144 4,168 22,492 29,528 21,590 13,964 3,064

Over the 2001–14 period, the number of florists shops fell 41 percent and the number of gift, novelty, and souvenir stores fell 38 percent. The number of jewelry stores decreased 21 percent. The number of mail-order houses (which sell all types of merchandise using mail catalogs or television) declined 13 percent, as did the number of confectionery and nut stores. Beer, wine, and liquor stores increased in number by 18 percent over this period. The number of establishments involved in electronic shopping (which use the Internet to make retail sales of any type of merchandise) increased 373 percent from 2001 to 2014.

Employment in gift-related retailers, 2001–14
Year Electronic shopping Mail-order houses Gift, novelty,
and
souvenir stores
Beer, wine,
and
liquor stores
Jewelry stores    Florists    Confectionery
and
nut stores

2001

53,115 182,245 259,705 140,893 158,138 124,634 24,699

2002

47,208 168,087 248,079 140,867 155,748 118,173 22,351

2003

49,326 161,734 237,194 138,535 155,672 111,282 20,952

2004

54,269 164,956 225,330 136,554 156,475 106,012 20,475

2005

62,315 165,687 214,725 136,981 154,785 101,201 20,210

2006

69,027 160,397 204,906 136,250 153,952 96,361 20,610

2007

75,930 162,287 197,967 138,744 150,097 91,750 20,729

2008

83,222 157,522 190,344 139,590 141,324 84,860 20,354

2009

87,650 146,431 172,804 136,786 123,533 72,674 19,141

2010

91,831 145,079 165,622 137,063 118,148 67,396 18,661

2011

105,880 142,728 164,157 138,537 119,746 64,946 19,102

2012

124,663 140,712 164,194 142,311 122,077 64,221 19,681

2013

142,709 140,413 163,802 145,281 122,234 63,248 20,303

2014

172,935 140,262 163,161 147,825 121,729 62,202 21,055

Between 2001 and 2014, employment at florists shops fell by 50 percent, and at gift, novelty, and souvenir stores by 37 percent. Employment at mail-order houses and jewelry stores decreased 23 percent, while confectionery and nut stores employment was down by 15 percent. Employment at beer, wine, and liquor stores was up 5 percent over this period. Employment at electronic shopping establishments increased 226 percent over the past 14 years.

These data are from the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Sweets for the sweet: employment at gift-related retailers on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2016/sweets-for-the-sweet-establishments-and-employment-of-gift-retailers.htm (visited September 15, 2019).

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