UK retailers are expecting lockdown Valentine's sales boost
Physical shops may be closed, but more than half (52%) of UK retailers are still offering products specifically for Valentine’s Day celebrations. And 41% of them are expecting the event to give them a sales boost with average expectations of a 26% increase.
A study from Barclaycard also found 37% of them saying the expected sales boost is making them feel more optimistic about the future of their businesses.
Britons are planning to spend £787 million this year and that should be helped by 63% of retailers having enhanced their e-commerce capabilities with such spending events in mind.
Some 27% are also expanding their product or service offerings, and 26% are increasing online stock availability.
Much of what shoppers buy will be focused on food as many consumers are “organising an ‘at home’ date night”. But given that 62% of couples live apart, over half of retailers are focusing on specific ‘Virtual Valentine’s’ products, including a broader range of gifts (24%) and vouchers that can be redeemed at a later date (20%).
And while food will be a big beneficiary of the event, it’s likely that other specialist retailers such as lingerie brands and jewellers will also get a boost.
Elizabeth Galton, Marketing Director at jeweller Ernest Jones, said: “The impact of the pandemic restrictions has certainly challenged us to think differently about this Valentine’s Day. Despite the shift in focus from store to online, we’ve kept the shopping experience alive for our customers. We’ve seen significant adoption of our personalised virtual ‘Talk to an Expert’ appointments and Live Chat service, and these are just some of the ways we have adapted our business.
“Our store colleagues have worked hard to guide clients through virtual purchases – enhancing the experience by providing all the advice and counsel they would normally receive in-store. We’re pleased our virtual appointments and virtual try on service for engagement rings have been so popular with customers. As a result of these initiatives, we have seen an increase in branded and fine diamonds jewellery sales, traditionally popular at this time of year.”
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