WITH Valentine’s Day just a few days away, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) predicts florists, chocolate and jewellery retailers will be exceptionally busy filling orders and stocking shelves to prepare for the upcoming romantic event.
With Cupid’s arrow striking again this year, Russell Zimmerman, executive director of the ARA said he’s expecting retail sales and in-store foot traffic to rise in the lead-up to Valentine’s Day.
“As Valentine’s Day is a widely celebrated event, we expect to see specialty retailers in particular receive a considerable increase in sales both in-store and online,” Mr Zimmerman said.
“With romance in the air, the ARA believes retailers will have their hands full of gift options to assist hopeless romantics in securing the ultimate gift for their special someone or even themselves.”
Although Valentine’s Day was once a notoriously renowned holiday for men to express their gratitude to women, in recent years the ARA has noticed a slight alteration to this tradition as the number of women purchasing gifts for men continues to increase each year.
“The Valentine’s Day tradition of gifting dates back as early as the 14th century,where poems and roses were exchanged from men to women as a gesture of love and gratitude,” Mr Zimmerman said.
“While past customs have favoured men gifting presents to women, we have noticed a refreshing change to this tradition recently, with more women sending gifts and writing cards to men.”
With Valentine’s Day marked as one of the busiest days of the year for Australian florists, Gerry Gerrard, CEO of Interflora expects approximately five million blooms to be delivered across Australia during the Valentine’s Day period, with many florists working 48 hours or more to prepare for the surge in orders.
“Valentine’s Day is the single busiest day of the year for Interflora florists. We sometimes receive a whole month’s worth of orders in single day. Many florists will be working around the clock to prepare for the increased volume in orders to ensure that there are no disappointed lovers on the special day,” Mr Gerrard said.
While red roses have been established as a Valentine’s Day gift staple, Mr Gerrard said he has noticed a slight change in consumer preferences over the last few years,with some customers opting to purchase colourful alternate flower varieties and personal floral arrangements to gift to their significant other.
“Tastes and trends are changing, and we have noticed a rise in the popularity of other coloured roses and even different flower varieties such as lilies and wildflowers.Customers now appear to be choosing flowers and colours that have specific meaning or significance to their relationship and personal tastes.”
With an extensive range of floral arrangements on offer, the ARA believes chocolate retailers will also be busy at this time of year, with Fiona Krawczyk, marketing manager of Haigh’s Chocolates recording a noticeable spike in online sales and in-store foot traffic in the days leading up to the event.
“Online and in-store traffic increases tenfold in the lead-up to Valentine’s Day. Chocolates are always popular gift whether they are the main gift or an additional indulgence item that is included with other gifts and we have a lot of customers who like to purchase their loved one’s favourite chocolates in abundance,” Ms Krawczyk said.
Jewellery retailers are also expected to be preoccupied in the days before the romantic holiday, with Carson Webb, general manager of Jimaco Ltd, Showcase Jewellery Buying Group marking the day as the opportune time for proposals to occur, as romantics look to purchase timeless gemstones to present to their special someone.
“As Valentine’s Day continues to grow in popularity, we’re finding that proposals actually increase during this time. Diamonds are so unique and individual and are a popular gift option for the Valentine’s period as they are timeless piece that can be cherished for years to come,” Mr Webb said.
So, whether you’re on the hunt for a meaningful floral arrangement, a dazzling sparkler or looking to complete your gift with chocolates, or simply treating yourself to a special shopping spree, there are plenty of ways to express your affection and appreciation for your significant other this Valentine’s Day.
About the Australian Retailers Association:
Founded in 1903, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is Australia’s largest retail association, representing the country’s $310 billion sector, which employs more than 1.2 million people. As Australia’s leading retail peak industry body, the ARA is a strong pro-active advocate for Australian retail and works to ensure retail success by informing, protecting, advocating, educating and saving money for its 7,700 independent and national retail members throughout Australia. For more information, visit www.retail.org.au or call 1300 368 041.