1. Business
February 14, 2017

Happy Valentine’s Day! Did you spend more than the average?

By Billy

No matter what your feelings on Valentine’s Day, chances are you forked out something for it anyway.

Despite the odds being stacked against it this year — people thinking it’s become too commercial, weakening consumer confidence, and it falling on a working day — people across the UK are set to spend some £987m ($1.23bn) on gifts and cards this year, according to GlobalData Retail.

Research by Groupon has found people in the UK will spend just under £50 on their loved ones, while those in France, Italy and Spain are expected to spend on average £110.

In the US the National Retail Federation (NRF) projects people will spend a total of $18.2bn on their valentines this year. Over $4bn of that will be spent on jewellery alone, with another $2bn on flowers.

The average US consumer spent $146.84 in 2016, though that’s expected to fall to an average of $136.57 this year.

We love our partners, but not as much as a bargain

In the UK there has been a slight increase in the total spend on last year (up by 0.7 percent) though price inflation is being offset by the high levels of competition.

Supermarkets are not only competing against each other for a share of the spending, they are now having to battle the discounters.

According to GlobalData analyst Anish Dosani, there are more shops fighting for the same size pie.

“Partners and spouses are going to benefit this year from increased competition in the market, but for retailers, though there is a slight increase in overall spending, any increase is being shared across far more participants as retailers take advantage of the occasion and attempt to gain a bigger share of spending,” he said.

Our love for Valentine’s Day is a lie

A lot of consumers have a negative perception of the occasion.

More than three three-quarters (81.2 percent) of those surveyed by GlobalData in 2016 felt that Valentine’s Day has become too commercial, while more than half (52.3 percent) felt that it is a waste of money.

This is an advantage for the discounters, as consumers can treat their partners but still get good value for money

“While we expect there to be an increase in consumer spending on Valentine’s Day this year, the more general lack of interest in the occasion means that retailers are going to have to work even harder to drive sales and win this spend”, Dosani adds.