Valentines Day – What is it Worth? -Macey Miles & Gemma Hurley

February 14th – Valentine’s Day. Love, romance, happiness. All of these spring to mind when discussing the passion-filled event. For many people this is a day where one can show their affection towards their partner; maybe even reveal hidden feelings towards a crush. How do people do this? With gifts. This makes the Valentine’s Day spend, one of the biggest seasonal events of the year, and a peak trading period in the Q1 calendar.

This has soared in recent years, as the overall customer spend has increased by 25% since 2017 in the UK. Just looking at 2019, approximately £391m was spent on dining out on February 14th. A further £267m was spent on flowers and £193m on clothing and lingerie. It seems that over time, this day of love has turned into a day of cash loss for many. Fortunately, for customers, Valentine’s day only takes place once a year. Within this blog, we discuss how retailers are capitalising on the big event and who is buying what across the year!

Who is Valentine’s Day really about?

According to the UK director of Adaptive Insights, Robert Douglas, around £650 million was spent on Valentine’s Day gifts in 2018. This figure has steeply risen since 2017, continuing to rise as customers splash the cash on their loved ones. In addition to Valentine’s Day itself, there has been a recent rise in the celebration of “Galentine’s” and “Singles Awareness” Day. The recommendation from many retail experts being that retailers who market Valentine’s day, should also seek to capitalise on these events too. On average, men spend £40 on their partner on Valentine’s Day, whereas women spend an average of £24. For this reason it is no surprise that in store marketing tends to market more towards male purchasers than female. Favouring shelves stacked of flowers, chocolates, perfumes etc. In a recent statistic, 21% of people celebrating across the UK, will give their partners flowers and 65% of people will exchange cards. Contributing to an average growth in this area of £1.1 million yearly for the seasonal event.

Did 2020 ruin Valentine’s Day too?

For 2020, the year where everything was a bit “out of the norm”, experts predicted an increase in the average customer spend. 2020 Valentine’s Day was set to be worth over £1bn. Zoe Mills, a Retail Analyst at GlobalData, commented: “Consumers with partners felt obliged to participate in Valentine’s Day. Those that wished to do this in a cost-effective way turned to more affordable solutions, such as dining at home. This was good news for the grocers who were hoping to combat the lull after Christmas. Yet, with consumers looking for the best value for money, the food and drink market for Valentine’s Day was only forecast to grow by 0.7% in 2020, compared to +1.3% in 2019.”

Projections for this year

In 2021 will the number dramatically fall, or continue to rise? Due to COVID-19, lockdown measures may impact overall customer footfall and how much someone is willing to spend, for what some may term a “Hallmark Holiday”. Therefore, 2021 Valentine’s Day may be cancelled for some couples. Businesses that will succeed in these trying times are those that adapt to the circumstances. For example, restaurants that support the use of home delivery, florists that offer non-contact home deliveries, etc. Businesses that are innovative enough to counter the effects of Covid-19 are undoubtedly the ones that will prosper. A fact that applies, not just for Valentines Day, but for all seasonal events into 2021.

If you want a slice of this cake and to increase your brands availability in store this Valentine’s Day, get in touch with eXPD8 here.

Gemma Hurley, Client Services Controller.

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