VALENTINE’S BECOMES A DAY FOR ALL NOT JUST LOVERS

More Brits than ever are planning romantic gestures this Valentine’s Day, a new report reveals.
While most will be in a relationship, we are increasingly likely to indulge ourselves, our parents, a good friend, our children and even our pets with a gift.
Lockdowns and isolation due to Covid restrictions has changed the emphasis of Valentine’s from an intimate day with our partners to involve all in our lives we love, reveals the Valentine’s report according to Finder.
Spending is predicted to soar to £1.37 billion because of people getting out more, an 11% jump from 2021 when we splashed out £926 million. But the average spend of £23 per person is down from the previous year 2020 which saw the average sit at £35.
The toll of the pandemic on romantic celebrations has affected the gifts we choose. While card sales are expected to top 25m and traditional Valentine presents such as flowers, perfume and chocolates remains popular, the trend for giving other indulgences like cakes, hampers, and wine has grown.
A take-away or a home cooked meal is a more popular choice that an intimate date at a posh restaurant and low cost experiences such as a good walk with our nearest and dearest are regarded as a way of making a partner feel special. 
Top of Valentine’s activities in getting a takeaway or food treat of some kind (27%), cooking a special meal (26%), followed by binging a TV box set or enjoying a movie night (21%).
High Street and online retailers reveal how trends have changed over what people buy.
“After Christmas, Valentine’s Day has become one of the biggest ‘giving moments’. It’s not only a day for showing a sign of love to a significant other, but also a day when people want to go over and above to show they care and is now extended to friends, family, in fact anyone we want to show that we love,” said Gemma Barton, of luxury food and online specialists Cartwright & Butler which revealed sales of hampers had soared and search terms were up +47% year on year.

“I think it’s because people are more sentimental. Given everything we’ve been through in the past couple of years, people really want to give presents to those who mean something to them” We are seeing sales of traditional bakes such as afternoon teas and cakes such as Victoria Sponges soar.  These familiar favourites evoke comforting smells and tastes of years gone by – all very ‘Proustian.

 

The sentimental trend also extends to cuddly toys, normally associated with the perfect gift for children, soft toy retailer Living Nature has seen a sales increase of nearly 20% for adults buying for adults.  
“It appears long distance lovers are buying our toys for something to cuddle when not together. It’s the first time we have seen an increase of this nature around Valentine’s Day, ”said the brand’s Murray Smith.
Bizarrely, penguins, giraffes and cuddly budgies seem to be the most popular gifts
Online department store Freemans reported that buying ‘experiences’ for each other were the latest trend with sale up 360% giving couples the opportunity to enjoy things together.
And for the pooches in our lives, it seems that Valentines’ Day is the perfect opportunity to show that we care.
“We love seeing what people purchase for their pooches on our site around the national day of love,“ says Jo Amit, co founder of  award winning ethical pet product brand HOWND
“This year, we have seen a 78% surge on our two natural alcohol-free fragrances for dogs, Butch Leather (think of lush woods and cologne) and Peach Bum (smells like peaches and cream).”
It also looks like Brits will be dressing up, be it celebrating at home, or going out.  Research from Moss Bros, the menswear specialist, revealed that more than half of us intend to dress up this Valentine’s Day.
Men prove to be the most romantic among the gift givers with 55% planning to splash out between £1 and £40. By comparison only 45% of women say they will hand over a romantic token and will spend money £10 or less shunning an extravagant show of affection.

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