It’s that time of year again. The ebb and flow of retail reliably takes us from Christmas to clearance sales to the next full-price moment in the deals calendar, on February 14th.
But what is “this thing called love”? A simple four-letter word, firmly embedded in the zeitgeist.
A quick search reveals that it’s one of the most popular words in song titles. It “lifts us up to where we belong”, “it’s a really beautiful thing”, according to Beyoncé… we go crazy while we’re in it. The Beatles used the word 613 times in their lyrics.
However, when a word refers to so many things, from customers who love McDonald’s to the wealth of emotions associated with how we feel about ourselves and others, it can be difficult to pin down exactly what it means.
Unlike English, Greek helps to distinguish the four loves. I’ve simplified for illustration:
Filia is the kind of love in deep friendship
Eros is romantic love
storage To express our love in family relationships.
Ed is selfless, unconditional love
This is the powerful content of This Little Thing Called Love.
It’s also funneling large amounts of cash into retailers’ checkout lines.
In fact, projected spending this time last year was a whopping £1.37bn (according to Finder). It appears that 25 million consumers send cards, and 76% of them celebrate Valentine’s Day in 2021. And when it comes to self-appreciation, 25 percent take the opportunity to treat themselves.
The first gifts on this year’s 2023 Valentine’s Day gift list include Pink Personalized Toblerone: a white chocolate-flavored pink chocolate bar with raspberries and strawberries and comes in personalized packaging.
We also have LEGO Flower Hearts: a 254-piece floral hanging ornament that might just be a good excuse for lovers to buy and build before gifting.
A traditional but ever-popular gift is a keepsake of flowers. The Jane Austen Society credits the beginning of the practice to the 17th century. According to research, 41% of women in the UK want to receive a bouquet of flowers (statista) on Valentine’s Day.
UK shoppers have a wide range of options when it comes to flower gifts, from budget to high-end luxury.
Value retailer Poundland has just launched a “timeless” faux bouquet for £5 ($6.17) that can be given away in need.
Blooming Haus, one of London’s leading florists, has developed a unique limited edition creation: the 24K Gold Bouquet.
Each bouquet contains 200 long-stemmed heart-shaped roses, picked at their peak freshness and then artfully hand-gilded with 24k gold leaf (taking 300 hours) by in-house floral specialists.
The product was created to satisfy the desire of high-end shoppers for “something bigger, bolder and different”. The bouquet may be the most expensive bouquet ever sold in February this year, with a price tag of £40,000 ($49,215). Those with less than $50,000 in the bank can opt for a single gold-plated rose from Blooming Haus for £250 ($307).
15,000 people choose Valentine’s Day as their date to propose (according to Wedding Ideas magazine), which means jewelry and the all-important engagement ring is always big business in February.
A disruptive brand in this space is 7879, launched by Secret Sales co-founder Sach Kukadia and business partner Ben Flower, who recently secured £5.5m in venture capital funding. The founders’ ambition is to revolutionize the way consumers buy jewelry.
The quotation of 7879 is affected by weight and real-time international bullion market. Clients are invited to witness the price change with the value of their gold, allowing them to track the daily value of their jewelry with a personalized portfolio. It also offers clients a guaranteed put-back option in response to prevailing platinum or gold prices.
Doesn’t sound like an unromantic realist, but when you consider that 37 percent of relationship breakups happen in the week before Valentine’s Day, maybe that’s a good selling point.The process Metro writer Ellen Scott calls “Valentighting”: The act of tightening your belt before the love spree begins
Back to John Lennon and Paul McCartney who told us “money can’t buy you love”. Well, maybe it is, but it still thinks retail can sell a lot of flowers, jewelry and gifts, and maybe help pave the way for it.
With Valentine’s Day less than two weeks away, we’ll have to wait and see who the big retail winners of this year’s “Day of Love” are.