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Valentine’s Day Spending Set to Top 1 billion pounds

13 February 2019 - 14:08 by Graham Miller

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February the 14th is set to be another extravaganza for the retail sector in the UK, with loved-up Brits predicted to break spending records and splash out more than £1 billion on gifts for their partners, according to forecasts from GlobalData.

Internet Retailing reports that analysts elsewhere are less convinced that this landmark figure will be breached, with a study from Savvy putting the maximum estimated outlay at just over £850 million.

Whatever the case, the role played by safe shopping online will be more significant than ever for Valentine’s Day 2019. Analysts estimate that over a third of people will use Google in order to come up with ideas for what to buy their beloved, while a fifth will make use of Facebook and 15 per cent expect to turn to e-commerce outlets directly.

In terms of how spending will be distributed, food is likely to account for the biggest individual segment of the market, coming ahead of jewellery in second place.

The power wielded by the web in terms of influencing consumer decisions is relevant not just for online shopping sites but also for their high street counterparts. Couples may be swayed to make last-minute purchases thanks to the web and will undoubtedly take advantage of click and collect as a delivery option in order to get access to gifts without having to wait for direct shipping.

The retail sector will undoubtedly be glad of the respite provided by a peak period of seasonal spending encouraged by Valentine’s Day. Consumer confidence continues to be at a low ebb with Brexit-based uncertainties spreading caution rather than encouraging spending - hence the need for events like this to help stimulate activity at a time when economic pressures are making most people tighten their purse strings.