Valentine's day is a key retail event in the first half of the year, centred around treats following a health-focused January.
Here we explore the key UK trends for Valentine's day 2018.
Many UK retailers installed impactful in-store theatre for Valentine's this year. This builds excitement around the event, encouraging and reminding shoppers to spend on their loved ones. Window displays and front of store theatre serve to draw the customer in, while signposted dedicated aisles guides the customer to a range of gifting options.
Fizz, chocolates, flowers and cards continued to be a Valentine's staple amongst retailers this year. Merchandising these items together presents them as an associated purchase, and makes shopping easy for those on a Valentine's mission. Displaying them outside of dedicated aisles also helps to inspire purchases.
Many retailers gave private label packaging a seasonal makeover, their fun and affordable nature encouraging shoppers to spend on own-brand products. This centred around sweet treats in particular.
Valentine's is a great opportunity for retailers to encourage trade-up by offering traditional gifts at all price points. Merchandising the most expensive items at eye-level gives them prominence and encourages a treat mindset among shoppers. Furthermore, flagging promotions encourages purchases from those that are not celebrating the event.
A home-cooked meal is a popular choice for Valentine's, so many retailers were offering meal deals. Merchandising meal components in one place makes the shopping experience easier for the customer, and inspires dinner choices. Furthermore, the popularity of eating-in for Valentine's day means that retailers can encourage trade-up with premium meal deals. Many retailers have increased the price of their meal deals while upgrading certain elements of it, such as adding an extra course and a bottle of fizz.
Seasonal tableware was another key trend among retailers this year, with many stores stocking heart-shaped dinner plates and decorative wine glasses. This complements the meal-for-two offer, encouraging couples to enjoy a home-cooked meal together.
Read the full Valentine's Day retail execution 2018 report here.