By Betsy Guzior

Why are female friendships such big business for #retailers? The Business Journals/Biz Women explains how Galentine’s Day, a fictional holiday, is turning into real business for retailers.

First introduced on the former NBC comedy “Parks and Rec” as a way to counter the couple-centric Valentine’s Day, it’s now a budding industry of cards, events and gifts on Feb. 13.

Party City has more than 50 Galentine’s Day products for sale, The Wall Street Journal reports. Hallmark is offering 16 cards, after research by the company showed that two-thirds of the women who bought Valentine’s Day cards were marking non-romantic relationships, per WSJ.

NPD retail analyst Marshal Cohen told WSJ that Galentine’s Day spending could boost Valentine’s Day spending, which has been trending down, by more than 20 percent.

It’s also a natural that social media loves the unofficial holiday. There are almost 400,000 Instagram posts using the hashtag #GalentinesDay.

Women can thank “Parks and Rec” character Leslie Knopes, played by Amy Poehler, for the idea. “It’s like Lilith Fair minus the angst…plus frittatas,” she says in the 2010 episode.

Galentine’s Day took hold not only with “Parks and Rec” fans (who can binge on marathons on Comedy Central daily) but also women who usually shun Valentine’s Day altogether. The NRF reports that at least 9 percent will get together with single friends and family members or buy gifts for themselves.

“Galentine’s Day is about supporting, uplifting and loving the women in your life,” Cristina Angeles, whose theater company Checkmark in Brooklyn in hosting a Galentine’s Day fundraiser, told Refinery 29.

Brands and restaurants also welcome an extra day in which to share the love.

Bumble, the women-swipe-first dating app, is co-hosting events around the country, including a women’s market and party at co-working space The Eleanor in Columbus, Ohio, in conjunction with its Bumble BFF feature.

Oak Long Bar + Kitchen in Boston sold out its Galentine’s Day event. The City Tap House in Philadelphia is hosting a Galentine’s Day event, with “Parks and Rec” trivia, waffles and drinks.

In Nashville, the restaurant at the Thompson Nashville hotel is holding an event Wednesday to celebrate women. “In this day in age with female empowerment, we thought it was more important now to celebrate ladies, but why not have a party to celebrate each other as well,” Erin Kette, the event organizer at L.A. Jackson restaurant, told Nashville station WSMW-TV.

In Austin, there are at least five events on Galentine’s Day.

In Great Britain, Everyman Cinemas is screening “Mean Girls” and “Legally Blonde” on Feb. 13.

“Female friendships are vitally important to our emotional well-being,” Susan Winter, the best-selling author of “Breakup Triage: The Cure for Heartache,” told The Irish Examiner. “It’s our female friends who are the constant in our lives, as they’re by our side through the ups and downs of our love life, career life, and personal life.”

Continue reading: https://www.bizjournals.com/bizwomen/news/latest-news/2019/02/retailers-love-galentines-day.html?page=all