Total consumer spending on Valentine’s Day is expected to reach a new high this year despite fewer people planning to celebrate the holiday, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF). Based on its annual survey, the NRF expects consumers to spend a total of $20.7 billion on gifts this year, surpassing the previous projected high of $19.7 billion set in 2016.
This year’s $20.7 billion estimate represents an increase from last year’s $19.6 billion, as lovestruck consumers prepare themselves for more spending. The half (51%) of the population who do plan to celebrate this year expect to spend an average of almost $162, about $18 more each than last year.
The popularity of Valentine’s Day continues to wane from year to year, though. The 51% of adults reporting that they’ll celebrate is down from 63% in 2007, the first year the survey was fielded.
That won’t affect total spending, though, which was estimated to be $16.9 billion in 2007 (these figures are not adjusted for inflation, though).
The most popular gift purchases for respondents are once again candy (52% planning to buy, down from 55% last year), greeting cards (44%), flowers (35%) and an evening out (34%).
Jewelry ($3.9 billion, down from $4.7 billion last year) is expected to account for the largest total outlay, once more, ahead of evenings out ($3.5 billion), clothing ($2.1 billion), flowers ($1.9 billion), and candy ($1.8 billion).
More people are buying gifts for their pets. One-fifth of consumers will do so this year with at an expected total of $886 million – up by $519 million from 2008, when consumers were first asked about spending on their animal companions on Valentine’s Day.
Meanwhile, in terms of shopping destinations, department (35%) and discount (32%) stores emerge as the primary shopping spots for Valentine’s Day celebrants, while close to one-third (27%) are planning to buy gifts online.
About the Data: The NRF data is based on a survey conducted among 7,384 US adults (18+) and fielded in early January 2018.