Valentine’s Day 2021: From flowers and nail polish to dog treats, retailers embrace a universal love message
On Target’s home page, the retailer’s “Valentine’s Gift Ideas” include gifts for the kids, gifts for the family—and of course, gifts for that special someone—and maybe that’s your dog (or cat).
Gifts range from a foil-wrapped chocolate rose for $1, a heart-shaped face mask for $3.99, heart-print pajamas for girls for $7.99, and heart-shaped chocolates in all prices and sizes—including a heart-shaped box of milk bones and dog treats for the pup.
Even nail polish guru Essie jumped in on the Valentine’s action with a collection featuring six mini polishes, $8.99, with shades like “Cupid’s Beau” and “Love is in the Air.”
A similar all-inclusive marketing approach can be found at Kohl’s, where the retailer advertises “amazing gifts for every valentine,” including your friends, the helpers in your life and gifts just for you.
This Valentine’s Day, the first Valentine’s Day during the pandemic, retailers are embracing the feel-good message of the holiday, marketing it not only to couples, but to everyone you appreciate in your life.
“This year, there’s no limits on love,” says Monika Kochhar, chief executive officer and co-founder of SmartGift, a gifting platform that provides virtual gift delivery via text or email. “It’s broader—your secretary, your girlfriend, your colleague, your pet.”
At 1-800-Flowers.com, the floral delivery service expects to deliver about 22 million stems, including 14 million roses for the holiday—up from the 18 million stems delivered on last year’s Valentine’s Day.
“We anticipate strong consumer demand as customers look for ways to connect and celebrate with loved ones—whether at home, from a distance, or virtually,” says Chris McCann, chief executive officer of 1-800-Flowers.com, Inc.
According to a survey by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics, over half of U.S. adults will participate in the holiday this year, spending a projected total of $21.8 billion.
Of the $21.8 billion, the biggest chunk, or $11.7 billion, will be spent on the significant other or spouse, followed by $3.6 billion on other family members, $1.6 billion on friends, $1.4 billion on children’s classmates and teachers, $1.3 billion on pets and $1.1 billion on coworkers.
The survey anticipates that consumers will spend an average of $165 on Valentine’s Day gifts and celebrations, $32 less than they budgeted last year. Still, this year ranks as the second highest Valentine’s Day in terms of expected spending, according to the NRF.
And given the pandemic, nearly three in four people, or 73%, say celebrating the holiday is important this year, the survey reveals.
In terms of gifts, the projected top-performing retail categories this year include candy at 54%, greeting cards at 44%, flowers at 36%, clothing at 20%, jewelry at 18% and gift cards at 21%.
The most dramatic change in gift-giving speaks to the stay-at-home pandemic culture, with a 10% drop in consumers spending on an “an evening out,” going from 34% last year to 24% this year.
Based on Mother’s Day, the first holiday celebrated during the quarantine, Kochhar anticipates Valentine’s Day revenue will exceed these projections. Her firm saw a 667% year-over-year increase in gift-giving on Mother’s Day.
“We believe that an escalation of gift giving could well occur this Valentine’s Day,” Kochhar says. “The holiday traditionally reserved for couples and close family will extend to broader circles of friends whose physical presence we’ve missed during these extended lockdowns.”
At 1-800-Flowers.com, McCann anticipates a double-digit growth year-over-year this holiday.
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