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How Businesses Are Catering to Singles on Valentine's Day

The holiday presents major opportunities for businesses to cash in on couples--but they can also win with the "Anti-Valentine's Day" consumer.

By Inc.Arabia Staff
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Valentine's Day is around the corner, but not all small businesses need to spread the love.

Consumers plan to shell out roughly $25 billion on related festivities this year, according to the National Retail Federation, though they're not all spending on gifts for significant others.

Nearly a third of consumers who aren't celebrating Valentine's Day still plan to mark the occasion by gifting items to themselves and getting together with friends or family. 

That gives businesses an opportunity to capture consumers who are looking for alternative ways to enjoy February 14. Big brands like Macy's and Kay Jewelers have rolled out "Galentine's" gift guides---for those celebrating the holiday with friends--but some small businesses have taken a different approach, with "anti-Valentine's Day" offerings.

Here's how businesses are attracting single--and sometimes cynical--consumers without Cupid:

Heartbreak-themed events

One way small businesses are attracting un-coupled crowds is by hosting events. At Over Flyte games and arcade in Denver, an "Axes + Exes" ax-throwing hour will be available to "escape the mushy-gushyness" on Valentine's Day. Groups can reserve bays for $65; Flyte workers will also group single people together for $20 per person.

Likewise, bars are getting creative with how they market outings to singles: New York City-based Blue Haven East is offering drink specials, games, and host-moderated mingling at its Red Flags and Potential Shags party on Wednesday night, and Seattle-based High Dive concert venue is hosting "I'm Not Okay" Emo Night, a punk anti-Valentine's party on February 10 for $10 a ticket. 

Bitter buys

Consumers could also be inclined to eat their hearts out--at least that's the approach Minot, North Dakota-based Cookies For You takes with its anti-Valentine's Day cookie deal. For $36, customers can get a dozen assorted cookies frosted with bitter sayings like "love bites" and "get lost." The Brooklyn-based retail brand Uncommon Goods also uses Valentine's Day as an opportunity to push sales of its $42 Broken Heart Chocolate Pizza and Mallet, for customers looking to smash a chocolate heart instead of their own. Some brands are capitalizing on other forms of heart-shaped treats. The Monrovia, California-based online gift store Fun Club offers a $24 "Dead Inside" candle for customers who'd rather strike a match than revisit an old flame.

Gifts with grit

Lest we forget about the art of being petty, which the Bronx Zoo in New York has mastered for years with its Name-a-Roach offering during the Valentine's season. But San Antonio-based Mattenga's pizzeria goes a step further for particularly bitter customers. Upon request, the restaurant will deliver a burnt heart-shaped pizza with a "unique sour taste" on Valentine's Day. London-based flower delivery company Floom offers a Breakup Flower collection in select markets. Any time of year, customers can send a package of dead stems, a shattered vase, and add-ons like free divorce papers, to really nip those messy relationships in the bud. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images.

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