Valentine’s Day: Love Does not Escape Supply Chain Trends

Valentines Day Juliette Blog

Whether you’re in a relationship or single, you can’t ignore the fuss made about Valentine’s day and the business it generates each year. Some consider the event as an inescapable chore, some see in Valentine’s day a great opportunity to demonstrate their feelings to the beloved one.

Valentine’s day is celebrated since Antiquity, and whatever you are romantic or resigned, maybe you find it a bit old-fashioned?

Not at all, the fact is, although very private, the event gets the influence from the Supply Chain trends: ever-growing demand, need for personalization, help from online shopping, and even offers for “non-celebrants”!

Gifting plans and Supply Chain Challenges

As the love for your dearest and nearest, Valentine’s day business is expanding every year.

From candy and greeting cards to restaurant and perfumes, the amount spent for a single day is impressive: About $19.6 billion in 2018 in the U.S. (source: National Retail Federation), and around £650 million in the U.K. (source: Mintel).

Of course, this entails significant challenges for Supply Chains: this is one of the days in the year when getting the right product, at the right place, at the right moment is critical!

Think about the 88 million fresh flowers that were handled by UPS in 2018 for US consumers…(source UPS).

Personalization and experiences

Valentine’s gifts remain mostly traditional: With a bunch of red roses or an invitation to a fancy restaurant, you may not go wrong.

However, consumers look for more and more personalized gifts to provide a unique mark of attention. In addition, let’s mention that women are the most pampered ones, but they are not the only ones any more. Did you know that more than 20 percent of Americans purchase special Valentine’s Day gifts for their pets – totaling $751 million in 2018? (Source: NFR)

Apart from engraved necklaces or customized pillows, customers are searching experiences which will create unforgettable memories: food experiences, theatre events, special hotel packages with spa and champagne, helicopter ride or sports adventure!

Indeed, all of this comes at a price. And, as Feb 14 is, well, tomorrow or almost, you rush to  spot the last minute deal, with every app or website that can help!

Online Valentine

Millennials now go with the flow, and they introduce new patterns in the celebration: Of course, they are more likely to use their smartphone to shop online and get the last minute offer, and retailers jump at the opportunity with a huge offering of dedicated products and packages.

But they also change the game in other ways: they are more likely to celebrate with an experience gift than with a candlelit dinner. More and more also wish to make Valentine’s day more “green”, refusing to buy flowers in January or choosing a no-waste gift.

Some, even in a relationship, would not embrace a traditional celebration and would prefer a more informal event. This way they can enjoy the company of friends, and why not joining the “non-celebrants”?

“Non” celebrants

As for World Football Cup or NFL Super Bowl, there are people who are not willing to participate in the euphoria. Yes, there are some.

Among these people on the fringes of the romantic flow, many plan to indulge in some self-care, to go out with friends, or even to show their rebellion by purchasing an “anti” Valentine’s Day gift. For these ones too, retailers have anticipated the trend and extended the range of treats.

As a conclusion, whether next Feb 14 will be a Valentine or “UnValentine” for you, don’t turn your back on the atmosphere and smile!

Happy Valentine !

Juliette Bruneel
Juliette joined QAD DynaSys in 2013, as she wanted to expand her horizons after experiences in Supply Chain as Procurement Planner and Inventory manager (in mail-order then bakery supplies businesses). She currently coordinates the DSCP product documentation and training material, ranging from the presentation of new features to training guides, and the update of demo environments. Out of working hours, apart from managing her domestic Supply Chain as a mother of two teens, she spends her spare time playing the clarinet with the village orchestra and looking for ideas around zero waste and upcycling (such as making handbags from soda pop tabs).

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