Keeping Retail Love Strong at Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day has traditionally been a global holiday, with people feeling the love across much of Europe and the Americas, but there have been fewer celebrants in recent years. Although participation has been declining, according to new research released by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics, spending for the holiday continues to increase. In response to this research, we’re left with two questions:
What trends are causing the rise in spending, if not increased participation?
And how can retailers respond to these trends in order to feel the love in their stores this Valentine’s Day?
Romance Isn’t the Only Sales Driver
The first trend is that Valentine’s Day isn’t just for couples any more. “The vast majority of Valentine’s Day dollars are still spent on significant others, but there’s a big increase this year in consumers spreading the love to children, parents, friends and coworkers,” explains NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. Around 20% of shoppers even get gifts for their pets.
Additionally, self-gifting is on the rise, especially among the younger generations. Among 18-24 year-olds who said they were not participating in Valentine’s Day, half still plan to treat themselves. Many of these shoppers are looking at either small self-indulgences or ways to share an experience with friends.
So what does this mean for retailers? First, although jewelry, flowers, and greeting cards are still top Valentine’s Day purchases, it doesn’t hurt to expand Valentine’s Day promotions beyond these traditional categories. A well-executed Valentine’s Day display might convince someone shopping for their sweetheart to also grab a gift for that special platonic someone in their life. Second, knowledgeable, engaged store associates can help drive those added sales by helping customers find that perfect gift, no matter who it’s for.
Valentine’s Day is a Brick-and-Mortar Holiday
Despite the prevalence of online shopping, Valentine’s Day purchase still mostly happen in store. 79% of consumers shop in-store for Valentine’s Day gifts, with almost half of all shoppers shopping exclusively in-store. Another survey found that, globally, shoppers were more than twice as likely to buy their gifts in-store.
This increase in customer traffic from holiday shoppers means that retailers need to be prepared for extra work in stores. There are also other factors that increase store associates’ workload before Valentine’s Day; for example, they are responsible for setting up festive displays and executing holiday-specific promotions.
By aligning labor forecasts and schedules with real-time workloads, retailers can ensure that they’re prepared for Valentine’s Day shoppers, with enough associates working to execute all promotions efficiently and still focus on customer engagement.
For more information on how to reduce complexity and set store associates up for success, contact me—Kevin Tapscott, VP – Solutions Consulting—or read our latest white paper, “5 Tips for Solving Retail’s Real Labor Challenge.”