Whilst latest research from Mintel shows that this year Brits have a love/hate relationship with Valentine’s Day, retail predictions show that cupid’s arrow may just hit heartstrings in-store.

Nick Carroll, Retail Analyst at Mintel, gives his analysis of the cost of love in 2016.

Valentine’s Day remains a well engaged with event but there is a sense that for some the love affair is over as 76% of consumers agree that the event has become too commercialised. This feeling is strongest amongst those who are married with 78% agreeing the event is too commercial compared to 70% of single consumers. However, given that 49% of consumers spent some money for Valentine’s Day last year suggests there is a sense that whilst consumers acknowledge it is a commercial event there is some social pressure to buy around the day.

Despite this, the market for Valentine’s gifts is set to rise once more in 2016 with Mintel predicting sales will grow 2% to reach £470 million, up from £460 million in 2015. This comes as consumers will continue to purchase for the holiday, but there may be gains for retailers who tap into the ‘anti-Valentine’s’ feeling. There has been a rise in the number of products and services marketed as alternative Valentine’s gifts and experiences in recent years, with online marketplaces a hub for alternative gifts, offering personalisation and handmade products. For retailers who are looking to offer an alternative, both in terms of products and services, they must acknowledge the commercialised nature of the holiday and emphasise good value for money so that consumers who feel they must engage in the event do not feel they are paying a premium to do so.

Of those who bought gifts in 2015, each spent on average £41.73, rising to £101.03 for those in London. Londoners were found to be more likely to spend on a special meal at home or dining out than in other areas of the UK. The higher average spend indicates that Londoners are more likely to combine meals with gifts for Valentine’s day, pushing up average spending.

 

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Nick joined Mintel in 2014 as a retail analyst and currently writes a range of UK & European retail reports. Prior to joining Mintel Nick worked for over eight years in retail for both Jones Bootmaker and Barratts.

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