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From stuffed teddy bears to dozens of red roses, more than half of U.S. consumers plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day. According to the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS), 2023 Valentine’s Day spending is projected to hit $25.9 billion. Research done by the National Retail Federation shows that consumers are expected to spend an average of $192.80 on Valentine’s Day spending in 2023. This is an increase of about 9% in consumer spending from 2022. But— how can convenience stores take advantage of this increase in spending?
Various national c-store and food service chains already offer special promotional deals for the holiday. Examples include Chick-Fil-A’s heart-shaped chicken nugget trays and c-store chain Circle K using Valentine’s Day theming in promotional materials. Though promotional materials and deals change throughout the years, large and small retailers alike can leverage the holiday into opportunities for more revenue.
Smaller retailers can take advantage by stocking products they don’t often carry, such as greeting cards, flowers and specialty candies. These items are the most purchased for Valentine’s Day, with 56% of consumers who plan on shopping for the occasion purchasing candy, 40% purchasing greeting cards, and 37% purchasing flowers.
To take advantage of the significant consumer spending on candy, many companies produce seasonal Valentine’s Day-themed candy. For example, Hershey offers various Valentine’s Day packaged candy, like specialty colors of M&M candies and heart-shaped Reese’s cups. According to polls by Statista, 94% of American consumers recognize the Hershey brand, which means offering their specialty candies for Valentine’s Day is a safe bet for c-stores looking to boost revenue with the holiday.
Last-minute spending also provides a huge opportunity for convenience stores, which are more prevalent and open later than other candy, alcohol, and flower retailers. In 2021, Valentine’s Day saw a 54% increase in sparkling wine sales at convenience stores in the United Kingdom when compared to other weekends. In the same survey, c-store owners reported sales of specialty candies were up dramatically on February 14th as compared to all other days of the year. Additionally, a third of male consumers plan to make purchases of candy and cards less than a week before the holiday, meaning last minute spenders will be looking for their local convenience stores more than usual.