Although UK sales on Valentine’s gifts and cards are set to achieve the £1 billion mark this year, growth is expected to slow on 2017 as shopping at discounters for the occasion becomes more prevalent.
This year consumers are forecast to spend £1.1bn on gifts and cards for loved ones, however sales growth is forecast to slow on 2017 at 0.7% vs 1.4%. Weakened consumer confidence and tightened household budgets will have contributed to this as well as the growing popularity of discounters. Moreover, shoppers continue to hold negative perceptions of the event. Less than a third of shoppers thought Valentine’s was an important celebration last year and 31.7% actively tried to avoid the occasion according to the GlobalData Valentine’s 2017 report.
Eleanor Parr Retail Analyst for GlobalData, remarks: “Although in the past Valentine’s Day was seen as an opportunity to spoil loved ones and shower them with luxury gifts, with 45.8% of consumers last year thinking Valentine’s Day is a waste of money and 56.2% believing it costs too much, consumers are expected to be more willing to receive and shop for cheaper gifts at discount players. After a successful year for many discounters in 2017, these retailers are likely to gain further share in the Valentine’s Day market as they continue to improve consumer perception of their ranges by introducing more luxury options alongside their value assortments.”
Retailers are looking for alternative sources of revenue to improve challenging Valentine’s sales, driving increased marketing around alternative Valentine’s Day activities or gift recipients. For example, there is a growing trend towards purchasing Valentine’s presents for pets, with Notonthehighstreet offering a dedicated webpage for quirky pet present ideas.”
Moreover, there is a new trend, recently imported from the US, ‘Galentine’s Day,’ which celebrates female friendships on the 13th of February. In 2018 more brands and retailers are expected to capitalise on this day, with moonpig.com and Etsy offering Galentine’s Day cards this year and retailers using the occasion the promote products suitable for females on social media sites.” Parr adds.