Valentine’s Day: Winning Retail Products

valentine's day spending 2017: key retail products


As the first major occasion after Christmas, Valentine’s Day has become a high point for retailers aiming to inject freshness into assortments post sale season, and revive flagging sales by targeting star-crossed lovers and self-gifters.

So what key items and details sent sparks flying? Here’s a look at Valentine’s Day by numbers.


Lingerie is still a top seller: 

Despite their cliché connotations, a large part of retailers’ marketing in the lead up to Valentine’s Day is centered around racy lingerie and sparkling jewellery. To that end, in the first five weeks of 2017, Instock data indicated that lingerie constituted 6% of all new-in products while jewellery held 34% of new-in accessories mix.


Valentine’s day spending 2017: Selfridges gift set


But consumers want experiences too:

However, on a YOY basis, lingerie was down 2pp and jewellery down 3pp – an indication of consumer interest moving towards more personalized, off-beat gifts or experiences rather than the usual. This is also reflected in the percentage of lingerie with some SKUs out of stock, which has decreased 1pp to 6%.


Red and pink are front and centre:

Pink has emerged as the fashion colour of the season, as evidenced in key marketing campaigns and product drops across categories, and constitutes 12% of the new-in lingerie mix, up 1pp YOY. Red increased 2pp YOY to 8% of the new-in lingerie colour mix for the Valentine’s drop.


Both red and pink are interpreted into lacy, delicate pieces as well as soft, functional items suitable for everyday wear, so these items will have a shelf life beyond Valentine’s Day – as retailers strategically keep an eye on stock levels and margins.


.. But black colourways rules the roost:

With shop windows ablaze in red and pink, it’s easy to assume that’s all anyone is buying. However, black constituted 26% of all new-in lingerie (up 1pp) and held 31% of all lingerie with some SKUs out-of-stock (up 4pp YOY) – making it the most popular lingerie purchase. Nudes and white followed, hinting at a practical bent to Valentine’s shopping.


Valentine’s details were trend-driven:

Patchwork and embroidery trends fed into Valentine’s details, with retailers repurposing floral embroidered apparel, and tattoo placement patches in lingerie into Valentine’s Day merchandising. Heart details in new-in lingerie grew 2pp YoY to 4% and florals increased 4pp to 18%, while lace held the top spot at 36% of new-ins (up 4pp).

 As preferences shift and consumers become more driven by experiences and value for money, occasions like Valentine’s offers retailers an opportunity to drive spend through innovative merchandising and marketing, keeping it a vital part of the retail calendar.


Note: All data and figures are for the five weeks to 5th Feb

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