Galentine’s Day is a US celebration of female friendship that occurs near Valentine’s Day, which takes place on Tuesday (February 14).
Observed by having a girls’ night out (or in) and exchanging gifts, it’s not meant to substitute for the traditional hearts-and-flowers holiday, but rather a way of acknowledging friends who are there for you year-round.
One thousand Walmart stores in the US are helping customers celebrate this occasion with themed merchandise, from decorations and party supplies to gifts.
According to a recent report from The US National Retail Federation, one in five people who celebrate Valentine’s Day plan to buy gifts for their friends.
Seasonal buyer Wendy Milstead explained why Galentine’s Day made sense for Walmart: “We’re always looking for new ways to delight customers,” she said.
“We started working on the Galentine’s Day programme last April. It was a reimagining of our ‘Anti-Valentine’s Day’ assortment, that featured sayings like ‘Cupid is Stupid’. We wanted to do something with a more positive message.”
The merchandise differs from traditional Valentine’s Day products because, she said, the items are “‘aged up’ with fun phrases and really developed with our customers in mind. Whether it’s the tassel garland with metallic accents or foodie enamel pins [badges] with matching ‘punny’ sayings, we wanted to add a bit of glamour to this fun, empowering holiday.”
Her favourite item is a plastic wine glass which comes in two designs: ‘cheers my dear’ and ‘sisters before misters’. Presented in in giftable packaging, each glass retails at $1.98.
So what has she learned from launching this programme? “We always rely on data, but sometimes when you launch a new programme; you just have to go with your gut.
“Luckily, I had great support from my managers, who encouraged me not to be afraid to fail. That’s how we stay on the forefront of the industry and work to lead the way.”
Walmart is an American multiple retailer that operates a chain of hypermarkets, discount department stores and grocery stores.
UK supermarket chain Asda became a subsidiary of Walmart after a £6.7 billion takeover in 1999.