Valentine’s Day is one of the major events on the retail shopping calendar around the world. Interestingly, Valentine's Day, which was once only an occasion for lovers to express their emotions, has now changed into a major retail happening. Despite the fact that it is not the main shopping season, retailers eagerly await this occasion to lure consumers with a bonanza of products and offers.
Current market size
An industry body, Assocham, has valued the Valentine's Day market in India to be worth $27 million (Rs 15,000 crores) based on a survey involving 800 executives in major metros and 1,000 students from 150 educational institutions.
Expressing his views, DS Rawat, Secretary General, Assocham, said, 'Valentine's Day is turning out to be a heavy buying festival with a significant jump over the past four to five years. Besides, the size of the market was this large since V-Day was not a single-day fete but was celebrated throughout the week.'
Another survey by Infibeam.com indicated that in 2014, the consumer spending pattern was observed to be much higher as most people preferred shopping online, as it provided ample gifting options, easy payment modes, and saved their time.
Quest for a unique gift
Off late, a change in consumer gifting patterns has been observed, wherein consumers preferred new gifting options, leaving behind the conventional ones. Though, flowers and chocolates still remain one of the major gifting options for lovers in the age group of 18-24; whereas, gadgets, watches, lingerie and expensive jewellery are some of the gifting options preferred by people in the age group of 25 and above, as per a survey in Infibeam.com.
"While flowers, platinum or diamond jewellery and branded apparel remain the most preferred gift items, the demand for ‘something different’ is growing in the metros," said Rawat.
Delhi tops spending chart
Sharing views on consumer spending pattern, Mayank Soni, MD, MB Group of Jewellers, said, 'Over the years, we have witnessed a rise in younger individuals spending on Valentine gifting through exquisite pieces of jewellery. Previously, it was limited to greeting cards and flowers, but nowadays, individuals are spending a lot on precious jewellery to gift to their loved ones.”
Commenting on the same lines, Jitender Jain, CEO, Entice, said, "Valentine's Day shopping has never been big for jewellers. In fact, celebrating Valentine's is still a fairly new idea in India; however, the gradual changes are leading to significant outlook change eventually. Owing to school and college romances, the Valentine's Day culture is trickling down to couples of all ages. Couples prefer to gift budget gifts and that is where our low priced earrings and rings find the maximum number of buyers."
Looking at the previous year consumer spending patterns, a 2014 Valentine’s Day survey indicates that Delhi saw the maximum amount of spending on this occasion followed by Maharashtra and other states like Gujarat, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal.
Even if there is a rise in disposable income, consumers are becoming more judicious about their spending, and this has helped the eCommerce industry to lure the consumers with offers, coupons and discounts.
Giving a cut-throat competition to the e-tailers, brick-and-mortar stores are also splurging on promoting their brands on this season of love.
Commenting on the promotion budget, Akhil Jain, Creative Director, Madame, said, “We are spending 6 per cent of expected sales for promotions.”
"To attract more customers, we are promoting our brand well in advance through conventional as well as digital media," said Chitwn D Malhotra, Jewellery Designer and Director of Dillano.
Achievement so far
Going by the previous year trends, retailers are expecting good response as more and more consumers are looking forward to innovative offerings.
'The response is not direct; however, it does create an indirect awareness about our new collection. The results are slow as Valentine's Day is not a peak-buying season, but it surely generates some good leads, and hence, important for us,” said Jain of Entice.
High on expectations, retailers are coming up with a variety of innovative merchandise and gifting options keeping in mind the budget considerations of consumers of different classes.
'MBj has designed a special collection of delicate diamond pieces inspired by heart shapes with earrings, pendants and rings in majority. We also focus a lot on bespoke jewellery to cater to people keen on gifting a customised piece. Jewellery is not only about women, we have diamond bracelets and rings as well for men, which is apt for a valentine gift,' added Mayank Soni.
Sharing views on the new launches for Valentine season, Akhil Jain of Madame, said: ‘Being into women's wear category; we have new party dress collections for this season. Further, we are launching our first fragrance to celebrate Valentine's Day for our customers.”
Last but not the least, jewellery brand, Entice, has designed Rose Gold Collection for the Valentine’s Day.
In a nutshell, it can be concluded that as long as shopaholic lovers continue to splurge on this occasion, retailers will continue to enjoy the profits.