Valentine's Day projected to break spending records

Valentine's Day projected to break spending records
Valentine’s Day Spending

This Valentine's Day is poised to be the most romantic and expensive one yet, according to a new survey by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Prosper Insights & Analytics.

The report predicts total spending on significant others to reach a record-breaking $14.2 billion, marking a significant shift from last year's focus on celebrating various relationships.

"Retailers are ready to help customers this Valentine's Day with meaningful and memorable gifts," says NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. "With consumers prioritizing their spouse or significant other this year, we expect to see a surge in spending on traditional romantic categories like jewelry, flowers, and evenings out."

Gift ideas for romance seekers abound:

  • Candy (57%) and greeting cards (40%) remain timeless favorites.
  • Flowers (39%) are blooming in popularity, with projected spending reaching $2.6 billion.
  • Jewelry (22%) promises to sparkle for many, with spending expected to hit a record $6.4 billion.
  • Romantic adventures are on the rise, with 32% planning an evening out and spending on experiences projected to reach $4.9 billion.

Overall, spending is expected to remain steady at $25.8 billion. More than half of consumers (53%) plan to celebrate, with an average individual spending of $185.81, an increase of nearly $8 from last year. Interestingly, this year's survey indicates a return to traditional romantic gift-giving, with a focus on significant others instead of celebrating a wider range of relationships.

Online shopping reigns supreme: 40% of consumers plan to shop online, up from 35% last year. Department stores (33%), discount stores (31%), and florists (17%) remain popular destinations as well.

Even those not celebrating romantically can get in on the fun: 29% plan to treat themselves, enjoy gatherings with friends or family, or celebrate in other ways.

Key statistics from the survey:

  • Total spending on significant others: $14.2 billion (record high)
  • Overall spending: $25.8 billion (on par with last year)
  • Average individual spending: $185.81 (up from $177.52)
  • Percentage planning to celebrate: 53%
  • Popular gifts: candy, greeting cards, flowers, evenings out, jewelry, clothing, gift cards

Methodology: The survey was conducted Jan. 2-8, 2024, and asked 8,329 adult consumers about their Valentine's Day shopping plans. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.1 percentage points.

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