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The Tuesday Valentine is Back in 2023! How Do I Love Thee?

The Tuesday Valentine is Back in 2023! How Do I Love Thee?

Are you ready to count the ways toward a successful Valentine holiday in 2023? It’s time for a break! Will everything finally work in harmony in 2023 after the past few years of weekend holidays, supply chain disruptions, short labor, and tight inventory?

With the Valentine’s holiday holding court as the first- or second-largest sales week of the year and generating 30 percent to 40 percent of the year’s total holiday dollars, it’s safe to say that a successful Valentine’s Day in 2023 will be a crucial component of organic growth across the entire industry.
So how do we “count the ways” toward a successful Valentine’s Day this year? Following are five of the most important components in achieving a super-profitable Valentine’s week.

1. Sales Budgeting
A simple SWAG (scientific wild a** guess) method of selecting a rote sales increase based on an annual figure doesn’t work. Budgets for a holiday — especially one of this magnitude — must be calculated with acute detail, factoring in the following components:

2. Gross Margin Budgeting
Gross margin Budgeting is the money that’s left over to pay the bills after product is sold, and it is the determining factor between running a profitable business versus running a bankrupt one. How is gross margin calculated? Sales – Cost of Sales = Gross Margin. The three most important factors in budgeting gross margin are your final sales budget, your final cost of goods and your inventory variance.
3. Product Planning
Placing the right dollar amount of product in each store is the only way to achieve your planned sales and profit goals. If there’s not enough product in- store, you simply won’t meet your sales goal. Once SKUs and budgets are planned by individual store, it’s imperative that store associates understand and have access to those detailed plans and order products accordingly. Be sure to also factor in a normal amount of shrink so that as product becomes outdat­ed, there continues to be enough on hand to achieve the target sales goals. In addition, sudden changes in inventory levels can wreak havoc on financial stability. It’s wise to stagger product deliveries over the four weeks preced­ing Valentine’s Day, starting with nonperish­ables such as balloons, supplies, containers, and upgrade accessories, and finishing the delivery cycle with shorter shelf-life products closer to the holiday itself.
4. Marketing Strategy
So, we have a great opportu­nity to make significant gains in the industry’s revenue this year. Now, it’s time to supercharge our marketing efforts accordingly. Indeed, we have so many more marketing channels available to us nowadays that will ignite Valen­tine’s Day sales exponentially. Here are a few of my favorites:

5. Store Fun Factor

As entrepreneur Richard Branson said, “Customers shouldn’t think of your business as a place to buy a product or use a service. It should be a fun place to be!”

Valentine’s Day 2023 is a time to go all out with in-store excitement and engaging associates. Plan some fun employee contests, or coordinate customer prizes. Aside from all the budgeting, marketing, and planning, the best way to a customer’s wallet is to focus on the feeling he gets when he’s face-to-face with the flowers!

By Cindy Hanauer Trustee Emeritus; American Floral Endowment