Valentine’s Day: How to compete in an experience-driven economy

Asos - Valentine's Day


Love is in the air as Valentine’s Day is on the approach-  but WGSN Instock data proves little movement within the market.

Throughout January, shares of Valentine’s themed products within the new-in womenswear assortment remains flat YOY- and key products and colours such as lingerie, pink and red show little YOY change.

The reality is, clothing nor accessories are no longer driving Valentine’s purchases – especially amongst Gen Z and Millennial customers. Increasing numbers are looking to experiences and lifestyle products to treat their loved ones, so how can clothing retailers tap into this new experience-driven economy?


Valentine's Day

WGSN Instock

Promote self-love to drive home self-worth

In typical Missguided fashion, the retailer has stuck a metaphorical middle finger up to the system and shifted the dynamics of Valentine’s Day, pushing towards self-gifting territories; a trend witnessed across the board of Christmas 2017. Ok, they keep the cliché product offering of lingerie and slinky nightwear but bring it with a sassy attitude- emphasising this outfit is for no-one but herself. As consumers increasingly seek out inclusivity and female empowerment, other retailers should be paying attention to this campaign. For singletons and lovers alike, no one is left behind this Valentine’s Day at Missguided HQ.


Inclusivity should be a core message

On the other hand, whilst Boohoo offer 437 lingerie products under their Valentine’s campaign, only 23 are available above a size 12. A quick look over on Instagram proves that this hasn’t been missed by customers, with numerous girls asking for the bigger sizes.  All retailers, particularly ones with as much influence as Boohoo, need to address this. The body movement will become ever-more important this year- and being conscious of size and inclusiveness is set to be crucial for retailers. Using seasonal events such as Valentine’s Day is an authentic way to prove you’re on board.

Personal touch is vital to differentiate proposition

Department stores play to their strengths and tap into growing demand for lifestyle based products. Enveloping their assortments into aspirational gift guides, Debenhams makes choosing easy and convenient with their top ten items including lingerie, perfume and champagne. John Lewis is one to watch though as they take this a step further, bringing personalisation to the gifting table. Adding this feature will step up your proposition and, to help bring manufacturing costs to a profitable level, multi-product retailers should offer fewer but better products. Using this technique, Valentine’s Day is sure to last all year round.


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