Valentine’s Day is a polarising celebration. For the romantics, it is a day to shower loved ones with gifts and affection. However, the cynics among us view the day as a corporate ploy for us to spend money in the name of love. Nothing says I love you more than a chocolates and a card, which will inevitably end up in the bin within the fortnight. Whatever your beliefs on the occasion, one thing remains, it may be the little boost our economy and businesses need.
A Holiday No Longer Exclusive to Romantic Love
A holiday that is no longer exclusive to romantic relationships as the net has widened. Galentine’s and Palentine’s are recent iterations of the occasion, which celebrates platonic relationships. Occurring on 13th February, this evolution of Valentine’s Day opens the demographic of people booking tables at restaurants and buying gifts for their friends. As a result, more money is being poured into businesses and trickled into the economy. Customers flowing in, even if just for a day, is precisely the financial relief businesses will need amidst the recent constriction of consumer spending. The Chinese New Year can often fall after February 14th, meaning Valentine’s Day and the subsequent variations are the first seasonal event for businesses looking to boost sales.
We as a society love to buy gifts, Whether for ourselves, our partners, our friends, or even our pets! According to research from Finder, 25% of Brits treat themselves on Valentine’s Day. Spending on £12.50 on average, totalling £155 million spent across the UK on self-love. A further £27 million is spent on gifts for pets, which breaks down to one in five purchases of presents for our furry friends. £182 million is spent for Valentine’s Day before even factoring in money spent on romantic partners.
Are You Hoping for a Gift or a Trip this February?
Pre-COVID 2019 saw £267 million spent on weekend breaks around Valentine’s Day. 2020 saw these trips halted, with many couples celebrating at home and the rest having to have virtual Valentines. This trend of gifting experiences over materialistic gifts continued when society opened back up. 2021 saw a 70% increase in couple-friendly hotel bookings from the 13th of February.
It seems year-on-year Valentine’s spending is increasing. 2022 saw an increase of 15% in spending on Valentine’s Day compared to 2021. A whopping £1.37 billion was spent celebrating in 2022. The amount spent seems to increase with each generation. On average, individuals from Generation Z spend £41, Millennials follow spending £32, Generation X spend £19, and Baby Boomers spend £11. It begs the question of how much Generation Alpha is set to spend on their sweethearts.
How We Can Show Our Love to the Planet and Local Businesses This Valentine’s Day
Do we as a society need to spread out our dedicated day to show people we love them? Choosing a different day within the year to go to a fancy restaurant would be more beneficial than the day when businesses are overflowing with bookings. The environmental impact of Valentine’s Day goes largely unnoticed. The 25 million cards sold for the occasion equate to 8,000 trees. The high demand for roses and other bouquets means millions of flowers are imported into the UK every February. Not to mention they are also likely wrapped in plastic.
February 14th alone sees an increase of 9 million kilograms of CO2. This is alongside the normal levels of CO2 released into our atmosphere on an average day. A way to help our planet and businesses would be to make a sustainable swap this Valentine’s Day. Rather than spending £30 on a bunch of flowers from a chain supermarket, redirect this money into buying seasonal flowers from a local business. Thus, not only putting money back into your community but also reducing the mileage of the bouquet.
There are other ways to support your community and local businesses this Valentine’s Day. Visit local restaurants rather than large chains to continue the diversity of businesses in communities. Supermarkets, through offering Valentine’s inspired meal deals have encroached on the money going into small restaurants. Although affordable, it is often only by placing a chocolate heart atop the desert that transforms a regular cheesecake into a romantic one. Often the ambience and experience of restaurants go unmatched on Valentine’s Day. Buy your cards, flowers, and jewellery from your community. Local businesses often create products on a smaller scale, adding to the uniqueness of the gift.
If Your Current Payment Provider is Overcharging You, Break Up With Them
Whatever your beliefs on Valentine’s Day, whether you find it sweet or sickening, there is no escaping red roses and little pink hearts this February. If your business will benefit from the sudden influx of purchases that Valentine’s Day promises, ensure your card machine is the perfect match for your business.