With an estimated £617 million expected to be spent for Valentine’s Day this year, UK retailers have been preparing to attract as many shoppers as possible.

While many of the major brands start planning their marketing campaigns months in advance, small shops owners can also set pulses rating with great Valentine’s deals all the way up to February 14th.

Friday and Valentine’s Saturday itself are still filled with much opportunity to draw in those last minute lovers. And, if the latest research by creative retail and marketing agency Savvy is anything to go by, this could be the biggest Valentine’s Day spend ever.

According to the Savvy study, around 40% of shoppers are planning to celebrate this holiday. In fact, besides Christmas and Easter, this is the next most important time of year for British shops.

Alastair Lockhart, Insight Director at Savvy, said:

“It seems that the improvements in consumer confidence we’ve seen during the past year are set to translate into higher spending, with just over a quarter of shoppers telling us they plan to spend a little extra this year.”

Valentine’s spending has changed

Overall, trading is predicated to be more active, with around half of the shoppers that were surveyed saying they don’t mind spending more money to make Valentine’s Day that extra bit special. A third of shoppers prefer to spend the most money on expensive food and drink.

Alastair is encouraging retailers to take advantage of selective trading – particularly when factoring in flower and ingredients for home cooked meals.

He said:

“More appealing product and creative use of in-store display should help entice shoppers to buy and spend that little extra. Pound stores in particular are ideally placed to benefit from the many shoppers who see Valentine’s Day more as a bit of fun.”