Last-minute love on the forecourt

So it is true – men really do buy last-minute gifts from petrol stations! Today (14 February) may (according to greetings card manufacturers at least) be “the day for love”, but according to a new survey from Palmer amp; Harvey, the UK’s biggest delivered wholesaler, the Great British Male is more likely to buy his Valentine’s gift from a petrol station than a posh chocolatier or a fancy lingerie shop.

P amp;H, which supplies 70% of the UK’s forecourt outlets, found that:

  • One in five UK men now buy their Valentine’s Day gifts from forecourts. Highlighting the last minute nature of some purchases;
  • Valentine’s Day sales are increasing at forecourts. Petrol stations sold 28% more sparkling wine, 31% more boxes of chocolates and up to 150% more flowers in the week leading up to Valentine’s Day 2011;
  • Sparkling wine showed the biggest increase in sales ahead of Valentine’s Day thanks to its growing popularity as the drink of choice for special occasions;
  • Interestingly, the biggest increase in condoms sales is seen at Christmas, not Valentine’s Day. Condom sales increased by 30% at petrol stations last year, while only by 6% in the week leading-up to Valentine’s Day.

The figures came from a P amp;H survey of 1,000 men across UK on their buying behaviour and was incorporated with figures gleaned from the wholesaler’s sales data.

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