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Valentine’s Day : The New Retail Sensation ?

Posted on February 22, 2018

Flowers Image

$19.6 billion. That’s the total spending expected for 2018 Valentine’s Day by U.S. consumers. Still very far from the sales results that are usually brought by other big Holidays such as Black Friday or Christmas (spendings being approximately 8 times higher at $900 per household), Valentine’s Day has been in very good shape since the last couple years, as we are expecting the average spending per household to increase from $136.57 in 2017 to $143.56 in 2018. Even if only 55% of Americans declare that they were celebrating Valentine’s Day according to NRF, it is still a very lucrative and good opportunity for retailers to grow their annual turnover.

And where were these consumers expected to shop exactly ? Much the same as in 2017, department stores (35 percent), discount stores (32 percent), online (29 percent), specialty stores (19 percent), florists (17 percent), and local small businesses (14 percent), are taking the lead as the most popular anticipated point of purchase.

A Holiday Perceived Differently Through Generations

As fun as it might sound, a quarter of those under the age of 35, mostly Millenials and Generation Z members, were planning to buy Valentine’s Day gifts for their non-human significant others. Specialty retail stores such as PetSmart and Amazon even dedicated somes sections of their stores to Valentine’s Day. And if you think about it for a minute, this totally make sense, as  Millennials now account for more than a third of all pet owners in the U.S.

We’ve learned in the past few years that a certain kind of transition was happening in the values shared by older and younger generations. Indeed, younger consumers are more attracted in spending their money on experiences rather than material goods and objects, like their predecessors. Roughly a quarter of celebrants under the age of 35 also planned to give a gift of experience, and 42.3% say they would love to receive one. And this trend is even higher for celebrants under the age of 24 !

We know that these younger generations are huge adopters of healthy living, healthy eating and well-being. And if there is one single day where they can cross the line of their good habits during the year, Valentine’s Day might be the one ! 69 percent of these Holiday celebrants were planning to give candies this last Valentine’s Day. As gifts are often considered as the stars of the day, among those 25 to 34 years old, 62 percent were planning to gift sweets. Although this adoration of sweets seems to be pretty much generalized and shared between all generations as 55 percent of overall celebrants were planning to offer candies or sweets to their loved ones.

In general, brands have been incredibly active on a large variety of digital platform, trying to have their followers to buy their products to celebrate the Holiday, and convincing their young customers that their products would pleased their loved ones the most. We know that Millenials and Gen Zers are highly influenced by social media content and influencers collaborations with brands, it might be one of the principal causes as to why they have been more engaged with their Holiday Purchases this year.

Takeaways

No matter in which industry you are evolving, or the consumers you are trying to reach, if you are a retailer operating brick-and-mortar stores, Valentine’s Day can offer you great opportunities. As an informed retailer, you have the power to transform these insights and trends into sales and profitability. Make sure you are adapting your products and service offerings for the new and upcoming generation, who will keep increasing their purchasing power in the next few years.

Contact us to get our latest Valentine’s Day Flash Report, analyse your 2018 performance and start planning your next strategy.