Retailers are battling for a share of the Valentine’s Day market, estimated to be worth more than £1bn.
A raft of marketing initiatives and new products have typified tough competition for spend on the annual romantic occasion.
Research by consultancy Conlumino put the Valentine’s retail spend at £1bn in 2013 and the figure is expected to rise this year. In 2013, £528m was spent on Valentine’s gifts, £357m on food and drink and £141m was spent on cards and gift wrap.
Sex toy retailer Lovehoney recorded its busiest ever day on Monday, the first time the mark had been reached in any period other than pre-Christmas.
The UK’s largest retailer, Tesco, issued research that showed 85% of all Valentine’s Day bouquets are bought on the day itself and nearly three quarters of all boxes of chocolates are sold on February 14 – with a third being bought after working hours.
The study also revealed southerners lag behind their northern counterparts when it comes to buying gifts.
Waitrose reported that, with the most romantic day of the year falling on a Friday, more people than usual are planning a special meal at home and a glass of something fizzy. Waitrose champagne sales were up by 30% last week and sparkling wine sales rose by 18%.
Chocolatier Hotel Chocolat is offering Shutl’s speedy delivery service to shoppers to allow them to receive a gift on Valentine’s Day even if it is ordered at the last minute.
John Lewis topped Google’s searches for Valentine’s gift items with its products most in demand, according to research by SEMrush.
Analyst the NPD Group expects “positive growth” on the £32m notched up in the fragrance market last year when one million units were sold over the two weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day.
A study by Rakuten’s Play.com revealed that 43% of Britons are anticipating a gift worth less than £10, but a third still hope for gifts worth over £100.
Rakuten’s research showed 80% of Brits would never return or exchange their Valentine’s gift, even if they didn’t like it.