More than half of UK shoppers (58 per cent of women and 50 per cent of men) believe that Valentine's day is a special day with 46 per cent of women and 53 per cent of men happy to spend a little bit more to make the day special for their significant other.
According to research from Savvy Marketing, of the 1,000 UK households surveyed, 23 per cent said they would be spending more on their loved ones this year than they did last year.
Over a third (35 per cent) of women hoped for flowers with cards and meals out also high on the wish list with 34 per cent and 31 per cent of women claiming that's what they want this year. Men on the other hand wanted a meal out (35 per cent) followed by cards and chocolates, 30 per cent and 27 per cent respectively. Five per cent of men and women didn't expect to receive anything at all.
Male shoppers were planning on buying restaurant meals and flowers for their partners (33 per cent apiece) with shop bought card and chocolates also on the shopping list. Topping the female shopping list, however, was novelty socks with 42 per cent of women planning to buy them for their partners, despite only four per cent of men having novelty socks on their wish list. Over a quarter (27 per cent) were planning to buy cuddly toys, again something only four per cent of men wanted, followed by champagne/sparkling wine (25 per cent).
Isla Kirby, creative strategist at Savvy Marketing, commented: "Based on our research it seems that for this one day of the year, the men actually make for much better shoppers – purchasing gifts that women actually want!
"In general and as part of our analysis, we felt that the industry got off to a slow start with Valentine’s Day execution instore this year - with most only activating campaigns ten days out. Disappointingly, many are presenting uninspiring displays that fail to maximise the opportunity with a market of shoppers who were willing to part with their cash. Many displays are lacking a call to action and fail to put forward a point of difference and inspire shoppers to part with their cash…retailers need to work harder to demonstrate they really understand how men and women actually consider and celebrate the occasion. If they don’t, it could end up with the shoppers ending their love affair with them and going off with the competition."
Of those surveyed almost half (48 per cent) of female respondents wanted to see Valentine's meal deals in the shops, followed by a good range of gifts for all budgets (42 per cent), and gift ideas (36 per cent). Men also wanted to see meal deals the most (36 per cent), followed by ideas (33 per cent) and a good range of gifts (31 per cent). 29 per cent of men also wished to see shops provide a flower wrapping service.
Almost a quarter of all respondents (23 per cent of men and 24 per cent of women) said they did want to see dedicated Valentine's aisles in stores.