Valentine’s Day and retailers rekindle their romance

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Did you know that nearly $19 billion dollars is being spent on Valentine’s Day in the US? As a retailer, are you making the most of this opportunity? Keep reading to find out more!

How did Valentine’s Day come about?

Most people are probably aware that Valentine’s Day is a day celebrated by couples and lovers, and that it falls on the 14th of February. In contrast to its popularity among lovers is the less well-known legend behind it. Valentine’s Day began as a day of celebration of an early Christian saint named Valentinus. One account of Saint Valentine stated that he was a priest who served during the third century in Rome, under the reign of Emperor Claudius II. The Emperor preferred single men over married ones for battle, as he decided that single men had less strings attached and would fight more bravely in war. In need of better soldiers, Claudius II made the reckless decision that young men are not allowed to marry. Realizing the injustice of the Emperor’s rule, Valentine continued to perform weddings for young lovers in secret. Unfortunately, Claudius II soon discovered Valentine’s disobedience and put him in prison, and subsequently ordered his death. In commemorating Valentine’s death, people gradually started to associate Valentine’s Day with romance, love, among the best of human emotions.

Of course, there are other stories for the origin of Valentine’s Day and why it became associated with love. But perhaps the most important thing is to celebrate that day together with our loved ones, be it our partner, or friends.

What do people do on Valentine’s Day?

Although customs differ from one country to another, generally speaking people would exchange greeting cards and presents with loved ones, or among friends and classmates for students. Popular gift items include candy, jewelry, clothing, gift cards, or electronic gadgets. Lovers also tend to enjoy dinners together, to celebrate the special occasion. A large number of bouquets of flowers are also purchased, to express one’s love for the other.

What opportunities are there for retailers?

For U.S. retailers, there are numerous business opportunities on Valentine’s Day as it gets increasingly commercialized in recent years. According to a news report, a whopping $18.9 billion was spent on Valentine’s Day in 2015, a substantial increase from 2014’s $17.3 billion. On average, those who celebrated spent nearly $10 more than last year. Those who are aged between 25-34 spent the most, leading the rest by spending $114.46 each on average. The most popular purchase is candy, which took more than half of the total expenditure. More than a third bought flowers, and a dinner out together is equally popular among couples. Other goods such as greeting cards, clothing, gift cards and jewelry are all important parts of Valentine’s Day purchases. Also worth noting is that consumers have a preference for bargains and value-for-money deals. On top of that, a growing number of customers are now shopping on their smartphones and tablets, which opens the door to new opportunities for retailers to promote their goods online.

How to make the most out of this opportunity?

Valentine’s Day is a short yet intensive season for retailers. To get customers into the spirit of the holiday, decorate your pop-up shop or space with traditional red hearts or other heart themed decorations. Check out “Valentine’s Day Displays” on Pinterest for some inspirational ideas. Select your most likely products to be Valentine’s Day gift choices and have them placed in prominent positions.

Retail promotion ideas may include a “wall of love”. This could be a heart wall where customers can add decorated hearts with messages of love. Or a romance graffiti wall where customers can write messages, or simply the things that they love, on a white board or butcher paper. You could create Valentine’s Day cards with various messages that your customers can add to their purchases. This provides an additional customer service and saves them purchasing a greeting card at another shop. Alternatively, you could offer a donation to a local community charity, showing customers that you are sharing the love of Valentine’s Day.

Advertising online is also a great way to help your shop stand out from the crowd, and make good use of social websites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as these are very popular among young people, who are also most likely to spend the most on Valentine’s Day.

Last but certainly not least, let CausalLease.com help you to book your pop-up and specialty leasing space for your business on Valentine’s Day. Go to CasualLease.com now and find your ideal specialty leasing.


References

History of Valentine’s Day, 2009, http://www.history.com/topics/valentines-day/history-of-valentines-day

About News, Happy Valentine’s Day! Retailers Feeling the Love, 25/02/2015, http://useconomy.about.com/od/grossdomesticproduct/p/Valentines_Day_Economic_Facts.htm

Photo credit: © Lilittas1 | Dreamstime.comHeart Shape Love Symbol In Woman Hands Valentines Day Romantic Greeting Photo


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