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UK Seasonal Shopping (Spring/Summer) market report

"Whilst retail spending during the Spring/Summer months is typically lower than that of autumn and winter, there are some important events in the calendar that retailers can use to encourage consumer spending. Easter continues to be the largest event, worth an estimated £550 million in 2016. However, the date of the bank holiday weekend often impacts sales and as a result, Mother's Day gift spending equalled that of Easter in 2016."
- Samantha Dover, Retail Analyst

This report examines the following issues:

  • How can retailers encourage greater Father's Day spending?
  • Tapping into the different seasonal buying behaviours of men and women
  • Can retailers leverage other product categories to drive Easter sales?

Overall, despite a slight decline in average spending across the majority of the Spring/Summer events, the market size for all increased. This is the result of greater numbers of consumers buying gift products for Valentine's Day, Mother's Day and Father's Day - offsetting the marginal dip in average spend. Easter was the exception to this trend, with a marginal increase in average spending. However, likely due to the timing of the event in 2016, growth in the number of consumers buying gifts was slower than the other three Spring/Summer events.

This Report covers the four major events in the Spring/Summer months: Easter, Mother's and Father's Day and Valentine's Day. Valentine's Day technically falls in the winter season but has been included within this Report because of the timing of our consumer research.

For each of these events we provide an estimated market size along with in-depth consumer research, which focuses on:

  • Which products consumers are purchasing for each of these events.
  • Where consumers are shopping for each of these events.
  • On average how much consumers spend on gifts for these events.
  • What the key drivers are when purchasing gifts for these events.
  • Consumer attitudes and buying behaviour in relation to gift purchasing for these events.

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Areas covered in this report
      • Executive Summary

          • The market
            • Market sizes for the major seasonal events
              • Figure 1: Estimated Spring/Summer seasonal events market size (including VAT), 2017
            • Retail sales performance in 2017
              • Figure 2: Annual percentage change in all retail sales (excluding fuel) at current prices, non-seasonally adjusted, by month, 2017
              • Figure 3: Value of retail sales (excluding fuel) at current prices, non-seasonally adjusted, by Spring/Summer months, 2015-17
            • Online accounts for greater proportion of retail sales
              • Figure 4: Online retail sales as a percentage of all retail sales, by month, 2016-17
            • The consumer
              • Fewer people shopping for the major spring/spring events…
                • Figure 5: Purchasing for Spring/Summer events in 2017, July/August 2017
              • ...but those that do are spending more
                • Figure 6: Average amount spent on products for Spring/Summer events in 2017, 2015-17
              • Most still shop in-store for gifts
                • Figure 7: Purchasing of products, in-store or online, July/August 2017
              • More than half start planning at least two weeks in advance
                • Figure 8: How far in advance they start planning for Spring/Summer events, July/August 2017
              • Negative perceptions of the spring/summer events
                • Figure 9: Attitudes towards the Spring/Summer Events, July/August 2017
              • What consumer do during the bank holidays
                • Figure 10: What they do during the spring bank holiday weekends, July/August 2017
              • What we think
              • Issues and Insights

                • Can retailers boost appeal of spring/summer events?
                  • The facts
                    • The implications
                      • Utilising online to capture seasonal spending
                        • The facts
                          • The implications
                            • When and where should retailers target shoppers?
                              • The facts
                                • The implications
                                • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                  • Spending on seasonal events continues to grow
                                    • Valentine’s Day becomes the biggest spring/summer retail event
                                      • Late Easter boost retail sales in 2017
                                        • Spring/summer months account for 44% of all online retail sales
                                        • Market Size

                                          • Spending on the spring/summers events rises 8.2%
                                            • Figure 11: Estimated Spring/Summer seasonal events market size (including VAT), 2017
                                          • Greetings cards account for smaller proportion of sales
                                            • Figure 12: Estimated breakdown of retail sales by products purchased for Spring/Summer events, 2017
                                            • Figure 13: Estimated breakdown of retail sales by products purchased for Spring/Summer events (including VAT), 2017
                                        • Retail Sales across the Year

                                          • Seasonal retail sales
                                            • Spring retail sales suffer from early Easter in 2016
                                              • Figure 14: Value of all retail sales (excluding fuel) at current prices, non-seasonally adjusted, by season, 2016
                                            • Christmas continues to drive end of year peak
                                              • Figure 15: Value of all retail sales (excluding fuel) at current prices, non-seasonally adjusted, by month, 2015-17
                                            • Spring/summer fashion purchasing now peaks in July
                                              • Figure 16: Value of leading category retail sales at current prices, non-seasonally adjusted, by month, 2015-17
                                            • Despite falling real incomes, retail sales continue to grow in 2017
                                              • Figure 17: Annual percentage change in all retail sales (excluding fuel) at current prices, non-seasonally adjusted, by month, 2015-17
                                            • Household goods boosted by late Easter in 2017
                                              • Figure 18: Annual percentage change in leading category retail sales at current prices, non-seasonally adjusted, by month, 2017
                                            • Increased spending during spring/summer months
                                              • Figure 19: Value of retail sales (excluding fuel) at current prices, non-seasonally adjusted, by Spring/Summer months, 2015-17
                                          • Online Retail Sales across the Year

                                            • Seasonal retail sales online
                                              • Autumn season growing share of online retail sales
                                                • Figure 20: Value of all online retail sales at current prices, non-seasonally adjusted, by season, 2016
                                              • Black Friday promotions boost online sales in late 2016
                                                • Figure 21: Value of all online retail sales at current prices, non-seasonally adjusted, by month, 2016-17
                                              • Online accounting for bigger share of total retail
                                                • Figure 22: Online retail sales as a percentage of all retail sales, by month, 2015-17
                                                • Figure 23: Online retail sales as a percentage of all retail sales, by category, by month, 2015-17
                                              • Consistent growth online retail sales during spring/summer months
                                                • Figure 24: Value of online retail sales at current prices, non-seasonally adjusted, by spring/summer months, 2015-17
                                            • Companies and Brands – What You Need to Know

                                              • Advertising spend down 0.5% spring/summer 2017
                                                • Inclusive marketing gains momentum
                                                  • Retailers use events to capture seasonal shoppers
                                                    • Efforts to encourage Father’s Day spending
                                                    • Advertising Spend across the Year

                                                      • Easter boosts advertising spend in March 2016
                                                        • Figure 25: Total above-the line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure by all retailers, by month, 2016
                                                        • Figure 26: Annual percentage change in total above-the line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure by all retailers, by month, 2016
                                                      • November remains the biggest month for retail advertising
                                                        • Figure 27: Recorded above-the-line, online display and direct mail total advertising expenditure by all retailers, monthly as a % of total spending, 2016
                                                      • Fewer retailers using press marketing
                                                        • Figure 28: Recorded above-the-line, online display and direct mail total advertising expenditure by all retailers, by advertising method, 2016
                                                        • Figure 29: Recorded above-the-line, online display and direct mail total advertising expenditure by all retailers, 2012-16
                                                      • Spring/summer in focus
                                                        • Figure 30: Recorded above-the-line, online display and direct mail total advertising expenditure by all retailers during the spring and summer months, 2015-17
                                                        • Figure 31: Recorded above-the-line, online display and direct mail total advertising expenditure by all retailers during the spring and summer months (Mar-Aug), by media type, 2013-17
                                                      • Supermarket spending at Easter
                                                        • Figure 32: Recorded above-the-line, online display and direct mail total advertising expenditure on Easter products by selected leading supermarket retailers, 2013-17
                                                      • Nielsen Ad Intel coverage
                                                      • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                        • The retailers ‘Serving the Underserved’
                                                          • Figure 33: Lush Valentine’s Day 2017 Better Together campaign
                                                          • Figure 34: Sainsbury’s same-sex Valentine’s Day greeting cards, 2017
                                                          • Figure 35: Happy Father’s Day Mum greeting cards, 2017
                                                        • Debenhams unveils Valentine’s Drive-Thru
                                                          • Figure 36: Debenhams Valentine’s Day Drive-Through, 2017
                                                        • Improving retail delivery options
                                                            • Figure 37: Zalando/Pacify geolocation delivery
                                                          • Chatbots help customers find gifts online
                                                            • Events drive seasonal shoppers in-store
                                                              • Figure 38: Paperchase Love Week, February 2017
                                                            • Ted Baker engages shoppers with playful messaging
                                                              • Figure 39: Love Bites Valentine’s game, 2017
                                                            • Cut price Mother’s Day
                                                              • Figure 40: Lidl Surprises campaign, 2017
                                                            • The rise of novelty Easter eggs
                                                              • Figure 41: The Cheester Egg, 2017
                                                              • Figure 42: Hotel Chocolat Egg Sandwich, 2017
                                                            • Retailer taps into social media opportunity
                                                              • Figure 43: Pandora Valentine’s Day ‘Love Booths’, 2017
                                                            • Retailers embrace stereotypes for Father’s Day
                                                              • Figure 44: Moonpig.com’s Father’s Day edible ‘Meating Cards’, 2017
                                                              • Figure 45: Carhartt Father’s Day campaign, 2017
                                                          • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                            • More people shop for Mother’s Day…
                                                              • …but people spend more on Valentine’s Day
                                                                • Almost a third shop online
                                                                  • Men spend less time planning
                                                                    • Price sensitivity high in build up to the spring/summer events
                                                                      • One in five goes shopping over the bank holidays
                                                                      • Spring/Summer Events: Who Buys What?

                                                                        • Mother’s Day most purchased for spring/summer event
                                                                          • Figure 46: Purchasing for Spring/Summer events in 2017, July/August 2017
                                                                        • Most people still buy products rather than experiences
                                                                          • Figure 47: Purchasing of products and services for Spring/Summer events in 2017, July/August 2017
                                                                        • Men continue to shop more for Valentine’s Day
                                                                          • Figure 48: Purchasing of products and services for Spring/Summer events in 2017, by gender, July/August 2017
                                                                        • Young people more engaged with seasonal retail events
                                                                          • Figure 49: Purchasing of products and services for Spring/Summer events in 2017, by age, July/August 2017
                                                                        • Affluence impacts purchasing
                                                                          • Figure 50: Purchasing of products and services for Spring/Summer events in 2017, by socio-economic group, July/August 2017
                                                                        • Half buy chocolate gifts at Easter
                                                                          • Figure 51: Purchasing of products for Spring/Summer events in 2017, by event, July/August 2017
                                                                        • One in ten dines out for Valentine’s Day
                                                                          • Figure 52: Purchasing of services for Spring/Summer events in 2017, by event, July/August 2017
                                                                        • Most just buy one type of gift
                                                                          • Figure 53: Repertoire of products purchased for seasonal events in 2017, by demographics, July/August 2017
                                                                      • Spring/Summer Events: How They Shop

                                                                        • Most still shop in-store
                                                                          • Figure 54: Purchasing of products, in-store or online, July/August 2017
                                                                        • Fewer people shop online at Easter
                                                                          • Figure 55: Purchasing of products, in-store or online, by event, July/August 2017
                                                                        • Young men drive online purchases
                                                                          • Figure 56: Purchasing of products, in-store or online, by age, July/August 2017
                                                                      • Spring/Summer Events: How Much They Spend

                                                                        • Valentine’s shoppers most generous
                                                                          • Figure 57: Average amount spent on products for Spring/Summer events in 2017, July/August 2017
                                                                        • People spend more on seasonal events in 2017
                                                                          • Figure 58: Average amount spent on products for Spring/Summer events in 2017, 2015-17
                                                                        • Men drive spring/summer spending
                                                                          • Figure 59: Average amount spent on products for Spring/Summer events in 2017, by gender, July/August 2017
                                                                        • Young people spend more on Father’s Day
                                                                          • Figure 60: Average amount spent on products for Spring/Summer events in 2017, by age, July/August 2017
                                                                        • Affluent more engaged in seasonal shopping
                                                                          • Figure 61: Average amount spent on products for Spring/Summer events in 2017, by socio-economic group, July/August 2017
                                                                        • Opportunity to boost sales in rural communities
                                                                          • Figure 62: Average amount spent on products for Spring/Summer events in 2017, by location, July/August 2017
                                                                      • Spring/Summer Events: Purchasing Planning

                                                                        • Most consumers plan ahead
                                                                          • Figure 63: How far in advance they start planning for Spring/Summer events, July/August 2017
                                                                        • Easter requires more planning
                                                                          • Figure 64: How far in advance they start planning for Spring/Summer events, by event, July/August 2017
                                                                        • One in twenty male consumers shops on the day
                                                                          • Figure 65: How far in advance they start planning for Spring/Summer events, by gender, July/August 2017
                                                                        • Week before important for capturing Millennials
                                                                          • Figure 66: How far in advance they start planning for Spring/Summer events, by age, July/August 2017
                                                                        • Longer preparation time for those in rural locations
                                                                          • Figure 67: How far in advance they start planning for Spring/Summer events, by location, July/August 2017
                                                                      • Attitudes towards the Spring/Summer Events

                                                                        • Most think the spring/summer events are too commercialised
                                                                          • Figure 68: Attitudes towards the Spring/Summer Events, July/August 2017
                                                                        • Seasonal shopping fatigue highest among Easter shoppers
                                                                          • Figure 69: Attitudes towards the Spring/Summer Events, by event, July/August 2017
                                                                        • Older consumers are more negative about seasonal shopping
                                                                          • Figure 70: Attitudes towards the Spring/Summer Events, by age, July/August 2017
                                                                        • Two thirds of 16-24s inspired by social media content
                                                                          • Figure 71: Attitudes towards the Spring/Summer Events, by age, July/August 2017
                                                                        • Experiences important to young people
                                                                          • Figure 72: Attitudes towards the Spring/Summer Events, by age, July/August 2017
                                                                        • Opportunity to drive Father’s Day purchases with social media
                                                                          • Figure 73: Attitudes towards the Spring/Summer Events, by event, July/August 2017
                                                                        • Interest in personalisation peaks amongst Valentine’s Day shoppers
                                                                          • Figure 74: Attitudes towards the Spring/Summer Events, by event, July/August 2017
                                                                      • Spring/Summer Events – Target Groups

                                                                        • Split opinions on the spring/summer retail events
                                                                          • Figure 75: Attitudes towards the Spring/Summer Events, target groups, July/August 2017
                                                                        • Key characteristics
                                                                          • Experience Seekers
                                                                            • Content Shoppers
                                                                              • Seasonal Sceptics
                                                                                • Price Conscious
                                                                                • CHAID Analysis – Spring/Summer Events

                                                                                  • Methodology
                                                                                    • Men want better suggestions for Valentine’s Day
                                                                                      • Figure 76: Seasonal shopping – CHAID – Tree output, August 2017
                                                                                      • Figure 77: Seasonal shopping – CHAID – Table output, August 2017
                                                                                  • Spring Bank Holiday Behaviour

                                                                                    • Dining out and shopping most popular activities
                                                                                      • Figure 78: What they do during the spring bank holiday weekends, July/August 2017
                                                                                    • Millennials most active over bank holidays
                                                                                      • Figure 79: What they do during the spring bank holiday weekends, by age, July/August 2017
                                                                                    • One in five does just one activity
                                                                                      • Figure 80: Repertoire of what they do during the spring bank holiday weekends, July/August 2017
                                                                                  • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                      • Data sources
                                                                                        • Market sizes
                                                                                          • VAT
                                                                                            • Abbreviations
                                                                                              • Consumer research methodology

                                                                                              Companies Covered

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