Feb 5, 2016
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Valentine's Day spend in UK forecast to reach £980m

Feb 5, 2016

Total Valentine's Day retail spend in the UK is forecast to reach £980m this year, £15m more than in 2015, according to consumer research from Verdict Retail.

This is despite 78.9% of consumers surveyed by Verdict saying that Valentine's Day has become too commercial, and 55.9% saying it's a waste of money. But Verdict believes the improvement in consumer confidence - as the economy is showing signs of recovering - and the fact that Valentine's Day falls on a Sunday will boost spend this year. As real wage growth is outstripping inflation, consumers now have greater levels of disposable income.

Greg Bromley, Retail Analyst at Verdict Retail, remarks: "Not only are partners and spouses going to benefit this year from the uptick in consumer confidence, with increased spending on Valentine's Day, but retailers are benefitting from it too as occasions such as these are a significant opportunity to boost sales".

But it's not going to be easy for retailers to get people to part with their money, especially as many are skeptical about the commercialisation of the day. "While we expect there to be an overall pick up 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" Bromley adds. "Perceptions of Valentine's Day becoming too commercial are in many ways a result of greater participation from the retailers themselves. As well as wider choice from the Big Four grocers, the discount players such as Aldi and Lidl, as well as value retailers like Poundland and B&M now offer substantial ranges," notes Bromley.

Though Verdict forecasts an increase, it is a marginal one, at just 1.6%. Last year customers spent £313m on food and drink, £518m on gifts, and £135m on seasonal non-food items such as cards and wrap.

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