- With Valentine's Day approaching, Giant Food Stores and Martin's Food Markets announced in a press release to Grocery Dive that it is offering the standard array of flowers, treats and recipe ideas, as well as a designated checkout lane in each store called Valentine's Express. The floral arrangements include a custom bouquet, with flowers sourced from farms that aim to help improve trade conditions for producers in developing countries while promoting sustainability.
- Whole Foods is offering two dozen roses for $19.99 for Amazon Prime members and $24.99 for non-Prime members, according to USA Today. The deal is only available where Amazon Now food delivery service operates, including New York, Austin, Los Angeles and other major cities. Costco is selling 50 roses for $49.99 with free delivery for members.
- ShopRite lets shoppers search for local Valentine's Day deals on its website and offers a $10 discount on consumers' next order when they spend $50 on Applebee's, IHOP, Domino's, and Nike gift cards using its Price Plus club card.
With shoppers spending an estimated $20.7 billion on Valentine's Day this year, it's not surprising that retailers are pulling out countless promotions to try and capture a slice of holiday sales on items like chocolates, roses, alcohol and make-at-home dinner ingredients like steak and seafood.
For a grocer like Whole Foods, offering a deeper discount on typically expensive Valentine's Day roses, could be a move by parent company Amazon to capture more Prime subscribers. It's a strategy the largest e-tailer has used before during major holidays. In 2018, its first Whole Foods-focused Prime loyalty deal hit before Thanksgiving and gave members 50 cents off per pound of organic and antibiotic-free turkeys.
Like most years, grocers are also leveraging the romantic holiday to market candy, chocolate and baking supplies. But with so many retailers selling these products — both in store and online — supermarkets need to find ways to differentiate themselves from competitors.
Giant's dedicated checkout lane could be a good plan for consumers who want convenience. With typical Valentine's Day items in one place, shoppers can avoid spending time wandering the aisles. And even with a targeted area, Giant is likely banking on the chances that once a consumer is in the store, they are more prone to purchase additional items. According to research from OrderDynamics, when shoppers come into the store to grab items ordered online, for example, 37% buy items that hadn't originally planned to.
The dedicated checkout line also falls in line with retailers’ recent focus on expediting the front-end experience. Exchanging 10 items or less lines for self-checkout kiosks is one of the biggest changes to hit the front end section recently. Focusing Valentine's Day promos on front-end sales may also be a big hit with millennials, with 94% of the demographic being attracted to new products that are positioned in strategic areas like the checkout line.
Last-minute shoppers will also tap their mobile devices to pick up gifts, with online sales potentially increasing from 32% to 53% in the week leading up to Valentine’s Day, posturing Amazon's online offering to be even more popular.