Valentine’s Day is considered to be the most romantic day of the year, but it’s not just lovers who look forward to February 14th. During this cold, grey month, where many people are still recovering from their Christmas spending, a wide range of businesses get a much-needed boost from that one day of the year where lovers treat each other, and seize the opportunity to impress their customers with what they have to offer.
Hotels for romantic getaways and restaurants for candle-lit dinners are among the biggest winners during the week leading up to Valentine’s Day. “Valentine’s Day is one of the yearly special events that drive additional business in terms of both rooms and outlets,” says Melanie Faure, marketing manager at the Hilton Hotel. “In terms of rooms, we are hitting an occupancy level of around 80 per cent between 10th and 17th February and restaurants are picking up at a very healthy pace during the upcoming weekend, as well as the actual day. The fact that Valentine’s Day will be during the week tends to shift some of the business to the adjacent weekend; however we are still doing very well.”
“Valentine’s Day is evolving, and expectations are definitely becoming higher,” Ms Faure says. “The wow factor with a bit of fun is definitely on the increase, and there are a lot of outlets that are satisfying such expectations. The plus side is that it gives business the challenge and the chance to be innovative!”
“Although every day is an important day for us, Valentine’s Day does generate more business than usual and it is a day which we look forward to in our calendar,” says Keith Psaila from Palazzo Castelletti. “Luckily, we are always fully booked for Valentine’s Day, as we have been since we opened five years ago. When diners go out to eat, they’re expecting not just great food, but an amazing experience, so we always make sure that from the minute they walk in to the minute they walk out of Palazzo Castelletti that the experience we give is top notch.”
“February is a tough month, so having the restaurant full on a weekday in February is good,” adds Byron Zarb from Marina VW Club. “In the hospitality industry we look forward to every occasion, as it is an excuse to celebrate!”
Retail also gets a lift during February, thanks to people hoping to impress their other half with the perfect gift. “People are treating Valentine's Day a lot more seriously than they would in the past , and we get quite a few clients asking specifically for Valentine's gifts around this time of year,” says Louis Manche, marketing manager at King Shoe Shop. “In the past the gifts one would expect on Valentine's Day were chocolates, roses, or jewellery. Nowadays, couples are opting for a variety of gifts that stray from the traditional Valentine's Day gifts, including more functional gifts such as clothes, electronics and shoes. Of course, it's very difficult to buy someone else a pair of shoes without having them try them on! Luckily, our return policy makes it very easy for clients to come back and change their gifts for a different size or style.”
Of course, it wouldn’t be Valentine’s Day without flowers. “During the week of Valentine’s Day, there is always a huge spike in sales,” says Alistair Fenech from Alistair Floral Design. “The most purchased flowers during the Valentine’s Day are definitely red roses but people’s tastes are always evolving and as time goes by, so does the search for a unique and high-quality product that really fits with their Valentine’s personality and likings. Clients are also including different add-ons with their flowers, from balloons and soft toys to fresh strawberries dipped in Belgian chocolate, wine and perfumes. We love nothing more than seeing couples showing love with a bouquet of fresh roses, especially when we get to deliver it as a surprise in a workplace, and see their surprised faces for ourselves!”