Following the Christmas rush and the January sale, February 14th fast approaches for retail brands.

With the millennial consumer beginning their Valentine’s buying journey as soon as they’ve completed their Christmas Pinterest board, it is no surprise that these seasonal shoppers are expected to have racked up a £1.9bn bill by the end of this week – up £1.3bn on 2014 sales according to research from eHarmony.co.uk.

Red Saturday

Luxury retail brand Harrods is one of the brands that has won our hearts this year, generating conversation through its social channels in the advent to the romantic date with the hashtag: #HarrodsLoves. Since the 1st February, a different gift idea has been suggested on its Instagram profile each day, and promoted through Facebook and Twitter.

With premium products such as champagne and jewellery a common choice for consumers and a surge in big spending peaking on February 7th, now known as ‘Red Saturday,’ it is the natural assumption that the shopper is willing to spend big on their loved one.

 A Love That Lasts All Year

Fortnum & Mason has an online exclusive for consumers to purchase “endless love” – an investment that stretches far beyond the ‘Red Saturday’ sales. Every month for a year truffles will be delivered to the lucky recipient #WithLove – which will no doubt rack up a few Instagram posts by February 2016.

In an e-newsletter, F&M differentiated itself from other retail brands for the event by declaring itself “The only place for Valentine’s” – simultaneously promoting the launch of its new site. We all know too well how stressful searching for the perfect gift can be at the best of times, not to mention when the high street is bustling at the peak of a seasonal splurge. The one-stop-shop certainly appeals to the millennial, as does the ease of shopping on-line on a brand new, easy to navigate site.

Love in-store for retail brands

However convenient an online experience may be, with an emotional purchase comes the incentive to go in-store. Retail brands are unmissably displaying themed POS suites, packaging and seasonal discounts to inspire shoppers and easily navigate them to payment.

Looking to the high-street, part of the massive UK spend this month is anticipated to lift discounters and single-price retailers. Aware that the modern consumer is looking to bag a bargain on their gifts so that they can spend more money on creating experiences like a meal for two, Poundland in particular is increasing its reach and cashing in on the event.

The supermarkets are also a perfect match for the modern Valentine shopper and have entered a price war on flowers, cards, bubbly and dine-ins in a bid to win the heart of the consumer. The benefits of a cost-effective, one-stop-shop are strengthened by the fact that Valentine’s Day falls on a Saturday this year – increasing the shopping window and time to cook at home.

Retailers should gear up for a Friday night rush, and be prepared – Easter is just around the corner…

For inspiring campaigns for retail brands delivered through all seasons and channels, read about our retail innovation workshops and contact us here.

Jemma Connor, Jnr. Account Manager