Valentine’s Day is nearly here: a day where retail reaches out to the romantics among us. Last year, the annual event contributed $19.6 billion to the US economy, with men spending nearly twice as much as women: $196.39 per guy vs $99.87 per gal.
Meanwhile, love-struck Brits lavished more on Valentine’s Day than Easter, with millennials aged between 28 and 37 driving that purchasing power, spending £81 on average.
But what to expect this year?
Inspired by Saint Laurent and Balenciaga Spring 2019 runway, heart-shaped sunnies came in strong. These retro frames arrived in iridescent pinks and classic Lolita-style red. Walmart entered red sunnies on 2 December, alongside Claire’s on 15 December.
For lazy day lovers, pyjama sets across all genders provide a strong gift item. ASOS stood out from the rest with ‘love bites’ as opposed to traditional hearts. Keeping to the cozy theme, mass retailers such as EXPRESS and ASOS offer chunky knits with love messaging.
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Nothing says love more than a pair of socks
boohooMAN dedicated their Valentine’s edit to cheeky love-struck emojis and saucy slogans. The collection included heart tees, boxers, and socks. A similar story was seen with American Eagle and Topman – both stocking love heart socks and briefs in their V-Day edits. On average V-day socks are coming in at $1.10 cheaper than regular socks from these retailers (packs excluded).
Analysing Valentine’s Day themed childrenswear (December 2018 – January 2019), we are seeing 72% more new in kidswear in the US mass market due to the lack of boys’ options in the UK.
Boyswear is currently 25% of new Valentine’s Day kidswear in the US, made up of options for younger age groups. Across the pond, boyswear made up less than 2%! This flags an opportunity for UK kids retailers to bolster their assortment.
However, unisex product makes up over half of the UK kids new V-Day drops driven by love heart emblazoned tops and onesies for newborns and toddlers.
Early bird Wildfox US kicked off their Valentine’s edit before Christmas. The ’Teenage Dream’ email campaign references 90s icon Britney Spears.
Not a fan of romcoms or clichéd mush? To compensate, brands are turning to alternatives like ‘Pizza and Chill’, pet gifts, and ‘Galentine’s day’ – an event to celebrate BFFs.
There were plenty of puppies and pizza email edits. Marc Jacobs supplied us with canine cuteness in their ‘Wrapped in love’ campaign. Meanwhile, Target’s ‘My Dog is My Valentine T-shirt’ was perfect for customers spending quality time with their puppy pal.
Furthermore, New Look and boohoo remind us that pizza is the only love triangle we need.
Be my Galentine
According to Urban Dictionary, Galentine’s Day is a day for celebrating the love you have for your best sistas on 13 February. As Leslie Knope says in Parks and Recreation, ‘Ladies celebrating ladies’.
And we’re all for it. In 2018 we saw a 58% increase YoY of communications promoting Galentine’s Day during mid-January to end of February across UK homepages, newsletters, category landing pages, and blog posts.
This is an increasingly popular theme, with retailers such as Dorothy Perkins, Monki, and New Look already celebrating Galentine’s with the gals.
The US saw a 13% increase of Galentine’s Day newsletters from 2017 to 2018. 2019 should see yet another increase with Lane Bryant, Journelle, and Francesca’s pushing messages such as ‘a Valentine’s Day for the BFF’ and, my personal favorite, ‘Clothes Before Bros’ (Lane Bryant).
Things that are trending upwards
Why go out when you can stay home? We’ve spotted a 10% uptick in nightwear sellouts YoY in the US, complimenting the ‘cozy night in’ messages from the likes of Nordstrom, Lulu’s, and Target.
Between December 2018 and January 2019, there was an 11% increase in US knickers sellouts YoY while bra sellouts were trending down by 8%.
Poundland’s ‘gift of nothing’ sparked outrage across social media, with angry shoppers accusing the novelty gift of ‘pointless’ plastic waste. I mean, come on Poundland, not cool.
‘Build that wall’ cookies left a bad taste in people’s mouths. A customer soon took action to share the backfired joke on Facebook. Let’s stick to Krispy Kreme heart doughnuts.
KFC dropped a gravy scented candle. 230 UK fans can enter the competition to win the artisan candle. B