The Business of love

Valentine’s day 2018 has been and gone. Up and down high streets in the UK little hearts and roses adorned shop windows. For retailers, the business of love is highly lucrative and here’s why.

Valentine’s Day in numbers

According to retail analysts more than 22 million Brits, shelled out on Valentine’s Day 2018. Creating huge business for local shops and shopping malls. In 2017, it was estimated that £1.5 billion pounds in the UK on Valentine’s Day. This is despite Brexit woes and difficult financial times for many people.

On average, British people spend at least £50 treating their significant others on Valentine’s Day. Not surprising as over 54% of British people view themselves as ‘romantic’. However, all is not fair in love and spending. Studies show that men spend on 45% on Valentine’s Day gifts than females do. There is also a difference in spending between the generations. Generation Y or Millennials are driving Valentine’s Day spending. Compared to Generation X or the ‘baby boomers’.

Valentine’s Day online

Valentine’s Day and the business of love has gone online. Restaurants, florists, and retailers all enjoy the price tag on love. All of the most commonly purchased Valentine’s gifts can all be found online. Perhaps even at a better price due to a lovely discount or sale. When you add in shipping and ordering or booking fees, online Valentines are pretty expensive. Especially, if you are like the 30% of the population who leave it until the last minute. Next Day shipping fees even for the day of love don’t come cheap. The average cost of next day shipping fee s is between £5.99 and £9.99.

Another way businesses make a profit on love is from payment methods. Card companies Visa and MasterCard receive transaction fees from online purchases. Transaction fees can be up to as much 2.75-2.99%. Savvy shoppers are beginning to realise this and put away their cards. Instead, people are turning to free online payment methods like iDebit. iDebit works as an extension of your online banking. Simply look for their logo, click and log into your online banking. Authorise the payment and voilà.

Alternatively, to iDebit, there are also merchant pay methods. For example, Apple Pay and Amazon Pay. Both Apple and Amazon created their own payment methods to maximise their profits. So, when it comes to Valentine’s Day online there is still a cost for love.

Most purchased items on Valentine’s Day

Cards are by far the most commonly purchased item on Valentine’s Day. Cards can be purchased at the majority of high street stores. Making them also the most readily available Valentine’s Day gift. Chocolates and flowers take second and third place. Unlike cards, flowers and chocolates are not as easily sourced. When it comes to purchasing flowers on Valentine’s Day there are also certain expectations. Roses are the most commonly associated flower for Valentine’s Day. Florists and supermarkets make a fortune on roses each year. This is because roses are one of the most expensive flowers to buy. A dozen red roses cost around £30 in the UK. Other beautiful flowers like the Gerbera daisy or the humble carnation don’t get a look in. Trailing the bottom of this list are stuffed bears. Often seen as tacky, stuffed toys are also the most likely to end up in a charity shop.

A final word on love

As love blossoms all around us so do its cost. Valentine’s Day 2018 is forecasted to net close to £2 billion pounds. While for the many Valentine’s Day is a day for love and celebration. Retailers online and on the high street see Valentine’s Day in business terms only.

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