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Recapping Valentine’s Day 2024 Foot Traffic Trends

Shira Petrack
February 23, 2024
Recapping Valentine’s Day 2024 Foot Traffic Trends

Valentine’s Day presents an opportunity – or at least lays on the pressure – for coupled-up consumers to shower their significant other with chocolates, flowers, or special gifts. And while some shoppers choose to order online or visit stores ahead of time to find the perfect Valentine’s Day gift, those who forgot to plan in advance can stop by brick-and-mortar retailers the day of to ensure they don’t show up to date night empty-handed. So which industries saw the largest boost on February 14th? And how did 2024’s patterns compare to last year’s trends? We dove into the data to find out. 

Mid-Week Visit Spike 

Valentine’s Day may not be a major retail holiday – but the occasion still drives a mid-week visit boost across many retail categories, including Restaurants, Discount & Dollar Stores, Liquor Stores, Grocery, Superstores, Breakfast Shops, and Beauty & Spa. Comparing Valentine’s Day 2024 visits to average visit levels over the previous six Wednesdays reveals a significant jump in traffic compared to the typical mid-week shopping lull.

Restaurants saw the largest visit bump, with visits up 60.0% compared to the average number of Restaurant visits over the previous six Wednesdays. Others opted for a morning coffee or brunch date, driving a 19.7% increase in foot traffic to Breakfast, Coffee, Bakeries, and Dessert Shops. And some consumers seem to have chosen a romantic evening, leading to surges in Grocery and Liquor Store visits. Retailers carrying affordable gifts, including Discount & Dollar Stores, Superstores, and Beauty & Spa brands also benefited from the Valentine’s Day Boost. 

And visits to the analyzed categories weren’t just up relative to the year-to-date Wednesday average – traffic across the board also rose relative to Valentine’s Day 2023, boding well for brick-and-mortar retail in 2024. 

Greeting Card Retailers Seeing Massive Spikes 

Valentine’s Day is sometimes referred to – not always affectionately – as a Hallmark Holiday. And foot traffic data reveals that the day really does drive significant visit increases to Hallmark stores nationwide, with Valentine’s Day 2024 traffic up 123.2% relative to the previous six Wednesday average. The Paper Store, another major greeting card retailer, also saw a large jump in Valentine’s Day visits compared to the year-to-date same weekday average, and Walgreens and CVS – also major greeting card purveyors – received a visit boost as well. 

At the same time, Hallmark, Walgreens, and CVS did not display the same year-over-year (YoY) increases as for the other categories. Instead, YoY Valentine’s Day visits stayed relatively steady – likely due to these chains’ store fleet contractions rather than to any drop in demand. Meanwhile, Valentine’s Day visits to The Paper Store grew by 10.8% YoY – perhaps aided by the company’s expansion.

Offline Retail Facilitates Last-Minute Gift-Giving

Valentine’s Day yields a clear mid-week boost for brick-and-mortar retail, driving visits to a variety of dining and retail segments. And this year’s Valentine’s Day seems to have been particularly successful, driving YoY jumps across many major categories and brands. 

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