Valentine’s Day Retail Sales Set to Hit £853m – Up 7.8% on 2018

…Grocers stand to do well, with shoppers planning to spend £152m on food…

New Valentine’s Day research (across 1,000 UK shoppers) from leading retail and shopper marketing agency, Savvy, has today revealed that 38 percent of UK shoppers are planning to get involved in Valentine’s Day this year and predicts spending for this occasion to reach £853m.

“Despite Brexit uncertainty and volatile consumer confidence, retailers look set for a solid start to the 2019 event calendar, with Valentine’s Day retail sales set to rise,” said Alastair Lockhart, Insight Director at Savvy. “In recent years we have seen how shoppers have focused their expenditure on events as they seek to make the most of time together with friends and family, but at the same time, retailers have invested more heavily in events, extending product ranges and improve the instore experiences.”

Key findings:

Who plans to get involved?

  • 38 percent of all UK shoppers plan to get involved in Valentine’s Day celebrations this year.
  • 35 percent of men compared with 40 percent of women will be marking the occasion.
  • 25-34 year olds will celebrate the event the most with 52 percent getting involved. The age group least likely to get involved this year are those aged 65-74 year olds (19 percent).

Of those planning to get involved in the event, how are shoppers feeling about the occasion?

  • 65 percent of shoppers are planning on celebrating on the day itself rather than on the at the weekend.
  • 72 percent feel that it is a special day and 60 percent are looking forward to it.
  • 57 percent say that they don’t mind spending more to make the day special.
  • 55 percent plan ahead for which items to purchase, whilst 47 percent will be shopping for gifts at the last minute.

How has the market for Valentine’s Day changed?

  • Savvy’s analysis estimates the value of Valentine’s Day to the retail sector will reach £853m – up 7.8 percent on 2018 figures.
  • 52 percent of those planning to celebrate Valentine’s Day will be going online to buy presents this year.
  • 41 percent are expecting to spend more on Valentine’s Day than in 2018.
  • Shoppers are planning on spend £152m on food this year and jewellery retailers will benefit as shoppers intend to spend a total of £113m on the category.

What are UK shoppers looking to buy and what’s on their own wish list to receive?

  • For the first time since Savvy have been tracking Valentine’s spending, an experience rather than a physical gift has topped the wish list. 40 percent of shoppers would like to be taken out to a restaurant for a meal this year.
  • The gift women would most like to receive is flowers (51 percent), followed by chocolates (43 percent) and then a meal out (41 percent).
  • Men are most hoping to go out for a meal (36 percent) or have a home cooked meal (29 percent). A card from a shop also featured high up on their list – 25 percent.
  • 32 percent of shoppers would like to receive jewellery this year but only 15 percent expect they will get this.
  • A romantic getaway is on the wish list for 29 percent of shoppers, yet only 14 percent are expect to give this type of gift.

Where are shoppers looking for inspiration for things to do and buy for Valentine’s Day?

  • Topping the list is the supermarkets – with 52 percent of shoppers pinning their hopes on them for ideas.
  • Google takes second place for inspiring shoppers (37 percent) and recommendations from friends, family and word of mouth comes in third with 28 percent.
  • Facebook was cited by 19 percent of shoppers and retailers online websites were mentioned by 15 percent.

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