As 14th February is fast approaching, we know many of you want to buy gifts for people. Although Jennifer Lopez said love doesn’t cost a thing, we are going to shed light on the financial side of Valentine’s Day to show you how spending happens for this day.
An article from Huffington Post suggested that Britons could spend as high as £1bn on Valentine’s gifts and experiences. This is a huge figure when put in context of the declining global economy in the past 8 years. The same article went on to disclose that men generally spend more on Valentine’s Day than women. Collectively, men spend about £622m compared to the £354m spent by women, according to the Huffington Post. On average, every Brit spends about £119m which is on the same level as the global average. In comparison, for example, the Germans spend less (about £59m) and a third (30%) admits that they usually forget about Valentine’s Day. The highest spenders on Valentine’s are Asians followed by Spain who spend £173 and £151 respectively.
Valentine’s Day cards
Traditionally, we have marked Valentine’s Day with sending Valentine’s cards to our loved ones. However, there are signs that we are moving away from the traditional valentine’s cards and prefer sending texts as an alternative. According to Kiltmakers.com we are living in digital love era. Texts messages are cheaper to send compared to cards and their delivery is instant. A good Valentine’s card could cost as high as £6, in these troubling financial times where most people are urged to save, you can see why the trend towards texts is picking up pace. Some men also prefer texts to cards as the latter runs of the risk of not being delivered to the right person or in time. Nonetheless, women do not prefer this new wave of texts messages. Many women prefer a gesture as opposed to just a text message. According to a survey by an online beauty retailer Escentual.com cited by the Huffington Post, 85% of the 500 women they quizzed preferred receiving a hand-written letter or cards to a text.
On the most romantic day of the year, what do most of us buy for our loved ones? It has been revealed that Britons usually buy their Valentine’s Day gifts a week before the 14th of February. Retailers experience an increase in their sales 8 days prior to Valentine’s Day. Globally, the common day for buying Valentine’s gifts is just 2 days before 14th of February. This shows that in Britain, people are more prepared and avoid rushing into shops last minute to salvage anything they find, and as we move closer to Valentine’s Day, prices tend to spike because the demand is higher.
What are the most popular gifts we buy?
In Britain, the Valentine’s Day basket is shrinking compared to previous years. For example, it shrunk by 20% in 2013 compared to 2012, and it was expected to shrink more in the coming years. This cost-consciousness can be attributed to the turbulent financial period of the recent years. Despite the decline in the basket, some goods are still doing quite well, these are the usual traditional gifts that people are expected to buy. The most popular gifts include flowers, chocolates, romantic meal, perfume, and jewellery. Of course, we usually buy more than one item from that list which is why the average for a Brit on Valentine’s Day is £119. Brits are also moving towards personalised gifts which represent a more sentimental acquisition and value to our loved ones. Personalised gifts may include books, teddy bear in a tin and a postcode jigsaw of where the couple first met.
Romantic trips abroad are also becoming less common as most people in the UK look to save their money in these financial tough times. However, that does not mean they are not travelling. Huffington Post UK reported that most Brits now select trips that are closer to home, with the most popular destination being Edinburgh and Belfast. Lastly, there is still a huge number of Britons that prefer going out on a date on Valentine evening. A staggering 37 million dates take place on Valentine’s Day each year in UK.
Where do we buy from?
The emergence of technology has revolutionised the way we do shopping. In the days leading up to 14th February, retailers experience a spike in their sales. We mostly tend to our shopping online, be it in booking our weekend trips or sending flowers and cards to our loved ones. Supermarkets mostly receive customers who are interested in buying lingerie and toys. This period is characterised by higher prices, despite multiple offers being made available by stores, travel agents, and hotels, due to the increased demand for goods and services.
How will you be budgeting for Valentine’s Day this year?