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Saturday 23 February 2019



Valentine’s Day ‘set for online sales boost’

Written by Chris Lemmon

Online sales this Valentine’s Day are expected to jump by 17 per cent, according to PCA Predict, as UK shoppers increasingly turn to online for romantic gifts.

The study found that last year UK consumers left it till the last minute to make online purchases for their partners, with sales jumping by 19.5 per cent from 12 February to the 13 February.

Spending will be concentrated across three areas, according to PCA Predict – fashion, food and drink, and health and beauty – with sales almost exactly split between desktop and mobile devices.

Chris Boaz, head of marketing at PCA Predict, said: “Last year saw a significant rush the day before Valentine’s Day from UK shoppers, suggesting they left it to the very last minute to buy presents. This also shows consumers’ trust in retailers to make sure same day and next day deliveries arrive on time and to the right address, so they didn’t disappoint their loved ones.

“This year will see online sales increase once more in the run-up to Valentine’s Day as it becomes an increasingly important online retail day in the calendar.”

Separate research from Mastercard found that British consumers are increasingly spending their money on experiences for Valentine’s Day gifts, rather than material goods. The report found that dining out represented a 25 per cent share of spend in the UK, and 60 per cent share of transactions in 2017.

Conversely, money spent on traditional Valentine’s gifts such as flowers decreased by 22 per cent, and the number of transactions has decreased by eight per cent. Similarly with jewellery, spend decreased by 32 per cent and transactions decreased by 12 per cent.

Scott Abrahams, head of business development at Mastercard UK & Ireland, said: “The data supports the rise of the ‘experience economy’ as happiness clearly comes from creating lasting memories, instead of purchasing material goods.”

With regards to consumer sentiment over the Valentine’s event, 39 per cent of shoppers expect to spend more this year than they did last year – rising to 52 per cent for Millennials. This is according to a survey from Savvy, which predicts that spending in the UK is expected to hit £726 million in the lead up to Valentine’s this year.

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