U.S. consumers are expected to spend an average 143.56 dollars on Valentine’s Day as 55 percent of the population celebrates this year, an increase from last year’s 136.57 dollars, according to the annual survey released by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics.
Total spending is expected to reach 19.6 billion dollars, up from 18.2 billion dollars last year. The numbers are the second-highest in the survey’s 15-year history, topped only by the record 146.84 and 19.7 billion dollars seen in 2016.
“Americans are looking forward to pampering and indulging their loved ones with flowers, candy, dinner and all of the other Valentine’s Day stops,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “With the holidays behind them and the winter months dragging along, consumers are looking for something to celebrate this time of year.”
This year’s survey found consumers plan to spend an average 88.98 dollars on their significant other/spouse (12.1 billion dollars), 25.29 dollars on other family members such as children or parents (3.5 billion dollars), 7.26 dollars on children’s classmates/teachers (991 million dollars), 7.19 dollars on friends (982 million dollars), 5.50 dollars on pets (751 million dollars) and 4.79 dollars on co-workers (654 million dollars). Those 25-34 will be the biggest spenders at an average of 202.76 dollars.
Those celebrating Valentine’s Day plan to spend 4.7 billion dollars on jewelry (given by 19 percent), 3.7 billion dollars on an evening out (35 percent), 2 billion dollars on flowers (36 percent), 1.9 billion dollars on clothing (17 percent), 1.5 billion dollars on gift cards/gift certificates (15 percent) and 894 million dollars on greeting cards (46 percent). More consumers plan on purchasing candy this year, with 55 percent (up from 50 percent) saying they will give gifts of candy for a total of 1.8 billion dollars.
“Spoiling their loved ones and themselves”
“Gifts of experience” such as tickets to a concert or sporting event continue to be popular, sought by 42 percent of consumers, but only 24 percent plan to give one. Those 25-34 are the most likely to give such a gift at 41 percent.
Much the same as last year, consumers plan to shop at department stores (35 percent), discount stores (32 percent), online (29 percent), specialty stores (19 percent), florists (17 percent), and local small businesses (14 percent).
Even those foregoing Valentine’s Day festivities won’t be left out. More than a quarter (27 percent) of consumers who are not observing the holiday have an alternative in mind such as treating themselves in some way or getting together with family and friends.
“Valentine’s Day has become a holiday consumers take advantage of not only to spoil their loved ones but themselves,” Prosper Executive Vice President of Strategy Phil Rist said. “Shoppers should look out for deals on everything from candy to date-night dinner packages in the coming days, leaving plenty of options for those looking to make the occasion truly special.”
The survey, which asked 7,277 consumers about their Valentine’s Day plans, was conducted January 3-10 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.1 percentage points.