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A very virtual Valentine's provides a boost to business

Friday 12th February, 2021

In case you'd missed it, this Sunday is Valentine's Day. But it's one like no other However, retailers expect consumers to still show them the love this ‘virtual’ Valentine’s Day.


• Two fifths of retailers are expecting a Valentine’s Day sales boost, with an average 26 per cent growth predicted
• Two thirds have invested in preparations, such as online advertising and increasing stock to prepare for e-commerce sales
• Half of retailers are offering products specifically to cater for a ‘virtual’ Valentine’s Day
• Four in 10 retailers say the expected boost from Valentine’s Day sales is making them feel more optimistic about their business’ future

Retailers are feeling the love in the run up to Valentine’s Day, with two fifths (41 per cent) expecting to see a sales boost, according to new research from Barclaycard Payments*, which sees nearly half of the nation’s credit and debit card transactions.

Traditionally an important milestone in the retail calendar, it seems this February 14th won’t disappoint, with Brits planning to spend £787 million in a bid to keep the romance alive amidst national lockdown restrictions.

Of the 41 per cent of businesses expecting to see growth this year, they are predicting their sales to rise by 26 per cent on average. As a result, almost two thirds (63 per cent) of retailers have enhanced their ecommerce capabilities, with three in 10 (31 per cent) boosting their online advertising. A further 27 per cent are expanding their product or service offerings, and one in four (26 per cent) is increasing online stock availability.

This anticipated uplift in sales is also increasing optimism, as almost four in 10 (37 per cent) say it’s making them feel more optimistic about their business’ future.

Savvy retailers are also adapting to cater for the six in 10 (62 per cent) couples who live apart but who want to mark the event. Over half (52 per cent) are offering specific ‘Virtual Valentine’s’ products, including a broader range of gifts (24 per cent), vouchers which can be redeemed at a later date (20 per cent) and chocolates to be delivered to the recipients’ door (15 per cent).


“It’s encouraging to see retailers have remained agile throughout the pandemic and are supporting their customers in new ways – whether that’s sending flowers with same-day-delivery, offering personal shopping experiences online, or expanding products and services to meet new demand. It’s great that this popular occasion is bringing some much needed optimism to retailers, and giving them confidence in the future of their businesses.”

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