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Flower Power Loses Out In The Valentine’s Battle With Practicality

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Romantic UK shoppers turned their backs upon flowers in favour of more lasting gifts in the run up to Valentine’s Day, according to, one of the UK’s leading online shopping portals.

While the numbers of people ordering flowers ahead of Valentine’s Day fell by around 15% on 2010, the average value of floral purchases also dropped from £60 to around £40.

This corresponded with a rise in sales of more lasting gifts, such as lingerie, clothes and keepsake gifts.

Graham Miller, a director at, which receives in excess of 10,000 visitors, accessing more than 4,000 online retailers, believes this is a sign of shoppers looking for value for money in more austere times.

He said: “Looking back at traffic during the days before Valentine’s Day, there is a stark difference in the shopping habits compared with the same period in 2010.

“Romance isn’t dead by a long shot, but there has definitely been a shift in spending, with more frugal buying decisions being made in the run-up to Valentine’s Day.

“The fact that shoppers have opted for more lasting gifts over more traditional flowers, which do not have a great lifespan, is a sign of consumers’ heads coming into line with their hearts. There is still the desire to give a romantic gift, but practicality is playing its part as well.”

Retailers listed on include Marks & Spencer, Debenhams, Nike and Next.