Why should retailers care about Valentine’s Day? For starters, consider that spending for the Feb. 14 festivities in 2013 neared a total of $19 billion. Many people have somewhat cynically branded the date as a “Hallmark holiday” – more a celebration of materialism than of love. However, the practice of showing affection by sharing small gifts and loving words has actually been a key component of the date for hundreds of years.
According to the History Channel, the earliest predecessors of today Valentine’s Day cards were written during the Middle Ages, when male suitors wrote romantic poems and notes for their beloved. King Henry V is even reported to have hired a professional writer to draft a love letter to the object of his affection and future wife, Catherine of Valois.
Chocolates are no recent addition to the holiday, either. CNN reported that famous confectioner Richard Cadbury created the first box of the sweet treats in 1868, which was a package decorated with a painting of his daughter holding a kitten.
Design for success
If you’re optimizing your Valentine’s store displays, you’ve probably focused on the main focal attractions – heaps of pink and red decorations, such as banners, posters and garlands. Be sure to remember smaller accentuations as well.
A great option for drawing attention to little Valentine’s treats or related merchandise is end caps. These store fixtures can attach to units like gondola shelves and help catch customers’ eyes. Because they’re less substantial in size than other fixtures in your store, however, you’ll want to take a little effort to ensure that they’re noticeable. An easy option for optimizing end caps is to look for colorful pieces. Give your display a pop by selecting items in hues that are seasonally appropriate. Pinks and reds are safe bets, but you can also opt for white end caps and draw attention with nearby decals or strand lighting.
What to sell
Obviously, end caps are not the place to sell your big-ticket items, but they are a great way to help customers identify little treats and surprises. Smaller boxes of chocolate, for instance, might be ideal for displaying in this manner, as could miniature inspirational books or little tokens of affection.
Cards are, of course, a Valentine’s Day staple. What better way to remind shoppers to pick up a note for their loved one than by displaying them in an end cap optimized to hold cards? For added convenience, organize letters by their intended recipient or tone.