Blog: Leonie BarrieFor the love of...

Leonie Barrie | 14 February 2006

Is this really the most romantic day of the year? I spent the weekend indulging in a bit of culture (and retail therapy too, I must admit) in London – and was reminded of just how commercial this hyped-up occasion has become. Shop windows seem to be bathed in a red hue of hearts and flowers, although why anyone would choose to waste their money on most of the tat that’s on sale beats me.

But the message from the Patron Saint of Lovers seems to be hitting home, with 42% of the UK population spending money on their Valentine according to the British Retail Consortium. Its figures show that men spend an average of £93.75 on their loved one, compared to the slightly less generous £88.70 that women shell out. A total of £92m is likely to be spent on lingerie this year, and an even more impressive £115m on clothes.

Of course for retailers the event ends a barren couple of weeks following Christmas and the January sales, and they’re obviously doing everything they can to boost trade. But I can’t help feeling that 15 February is a big day for underwear returns – and, more importantly, subscribe to the idea that if you really love someone you don’t need one day a year to tell them so.


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