Valentine’s Day Retail Sales growth expected to slow to 0.2%, with the market worth £855m…

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New Valentine’s Day research across 1,000 UK shoppers reveals that 37% of UK shoppers are planning to get involved in Valentine’s Day this year and predicts spending for this occasion to reach £855 million. 

Once again online Valentine’s sales look set for a boost with 57% of those celebrating planning to buy gifts from an online retailer. 45% expect they’ll shop using their smartphone.

The study also shows that 37% of all UK shoppers plan to get involved in Valentine’s Day celebrations this year, with 18-34 year olds are most likely to celebrate the event the most with 50% getting involved. 

Of those planning to get involved in the event, 60% of are looking forward to Valentine’s Day and 23% view the event as the best in the year. Around half of those celebrating the event will plan in advance what they will buy for their Valentine, though 44% say they will leave it to the last minute.

44% of those planning to get involved say they expect their spend to be more this year than last, while 52% say that they don’t mind spending more to make Valentine’s Day more special.

However, overall the analysis suggests the market will remain flat with sales for the event increasing by only 0.2% on last year, reaching £855m.

Alastair Lockhart, Insight Director at Savvy, the marketing agency that carried out the survey explains: “Despite seeing a small improvement in consumer confidence at the beginning of the year, our analysis points to only minor growth in Valentine’s Day 2020. In part this is due to a tough comparative as the market grew by 7.8% in 2019, however we also attribute the slowdown to a shift away from eating out, to eating at home.”

He continues: “An interesting development this year is the growing role of social media as a source of inspiration. For example, 30% of Valentine’s shoppers expect to seek inspiration on Facebook, up from 19% last year. This is not entirely surprising as retailers and brands are more actively using social media to provide inspiration and also the platforms are becoming more convenient as they increasingly offer users the option to buy directly from posts.”

Where are shoppers buying and what do they want?

Supermarkets are the number one source of inspiration, mentioned by 52% of Valentine’s shoppers. 

Google takes second place, with 37% using the search engine.

This year the study has found a significant rise in the use of social media. Facebook will be used by 30% – up from 19 in 2019 – and 21% will source inspiration from Instagram. Social media is more important inspiration sources for 18-34 year olds, with 43% using Facebook and 37% Instagram.

As to what they are buying, women’s Valentine’s wish lists are headed by the usual suspects: flowers (45%), jewellery (35%), meal at a restaurant (33%) and chocolates (30%).

Men’s wish lists are topped with meal at a restaurant (27%), chocolates (25%) and a home cooked meal (23%).

Overall people’s wish lists look relatively well aligned to what they expect to receive. Women expect their partners will buy them flowers (36%), a card from shop (35%) and chocolates (29%). 20% expect their partner will take them for a meal at restaurant.

Men expect their partners will buy them a card from a shop (28%), chocolates (27%) and homemade cards (13%).

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