Retailers are gunning for a £1.6bn pay day from Valentine’s Day sales this weekend, with grocers hoping cash-strapped lovers eat at home rather than go out to a restaurant.
The supermarket chains are all competing with various meal deals. The Asda Extra Special deal is £10, Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference is £10, Morrisons The Best is £8, Tesco Finest is £15 and Waitrose Menu From is £15.
Grocers are also hoping to cash in with quirky presents such as Tesco’s heart-shaped frying pan, or Sainsbury’s cinema voucher giveaway when shoppers spend £15 on gifts.
According to Planet Retail, Valentine’s Day sales will rise 2.4% over last year, reaching £1.6bn. However, some retailers told Retail Week they fear sales will be hit by the forecast bad weather this week.
Planet Retail news editor Petah Marian said shoppers are likely to avoid higher priced items such as jewellery in favour of more “nostalgic” items such as flowers, chocolates and lingerie. “There is a focus on dine in meals and sexy lingerie styles. Figleaves had a 20% lift in its sexy styles last week,” she said.
Signet jewellery chains H Samuel and Ernest Jones have opened pop-up shops in Waterloo and Paddington train stations in London in an attempt to catch commuters needing last minute gifts.
Entertainment retailer HMV is installing an HMV Love Shack photo booth at its flagship Oxford Street branch. Point of sale across all HMV stores will feature a specially adapted Nipper logo with floating love hearts.
The value players are also competing for share. 99p Stores buying director Faisal Lalani said: “Previously Woolworths had quite a good offer, so with them out of the way there’s not much competition. We have 40 lines this year - last year we had 15. It’s going really well.”
Clinton Cards is also confident it will have strong sales and its buying and marketing director John Robinson said so far this year sales have been “buoyant” on cards and gifts.
It is also running a competition for customers to win a trip to Paris.