Data and analytics company GlobalData has predicted Valentine’s Day spending in the UK will be worth over £1bn this year – up to 0.7% higher than in 2018.

Retailers are appealing to shoppers by offering romantic Valentine’s meals that can be made at home to avoid expensive takeaways or busy dining-out experiences. Supermarkets such as Morrisons, Tesco and Waitrose are offering three to four-course meals with a bottle of wine or fizz for £20 and under.

Valentine’s Day gifts remain the largest category in the market, with analysts predicting it to grow by 0.5% this year. The increase in spending is driven by food and drink gifts with these items being more affordable than accessories such as leather goods, which are predicted to decline in popularity in 2019.

Valentine’s Day spending 2019: positive results

GlobalData analyst Zoe Mills said: “Consumers want to participate in this event, however, for many, spending on dining out and a lavish gift is not affordable. This is a positive result for retailers who may be seeing a lull in footfall after the busy Christmas peak.

“The focus on product quality among the discounters is forecast to hinder growth in the food and drink market as shoppers trade down, however growth in this category remains robust at 1.3% in 2019, compared to +1.5% in 2018.

“For many shoppers, a Valentine’s Day gift is a token of affection rather than an extravagant expense, and as such, the average amount spent on gifts is much less than spent on other events such as birthdays and Christmas. Key gifting categories will be jewellery, particularly for female recipients, and food and drink gifts such as the traditional box of chocolates and items such as Champagne or Prosecco.

“Retailers should highlight different price points in their Valentine’s Day gifting ranges to ensure customers can find an option that is affordable for them.”

According to retail and shopper marketing agency Savvy, retail sales will reach £853m, an increase of 7.8% from 2018, with % of consumers saying they do not mind spending more to make Valentine’s Day special for their partner.

CEO of point-of-sale specialist Ecrebo David Buckingham commented: “Seasonal events such as Valentine’s Day provide a prime opportunity for retailers to drive footfall and increase sales. However, it’s important not to forgo personalisation in favour of mass promotions. All year round rewards are one of the things that keep customers coming back. As a result, there should be a balance between delivering day-to-day value and event-driven promotions.”

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