Total consumer retail spending on Valentine’s Day is expected to break a new record this year as more people plan to celebrate the holiday, according to an annual survey from the National Retail Federation (NRF). As consumers broaden the range of who they are buying for and the amount they’ll spend, the NRF expects consumer spending to reach $27.4 billion.
This year’s $27.4 billion estimate represents a significant increase from last year’s $20.7 billion. More than half (55%) of the US population plans to celebrate this year, with these celebrants expecting to spend an average of about $196, an impressive $34 more each than last year.
After the popularity of Valentine’s Day dipped in recent years, the holiday appears to be feeling more love. The 55% of adults reporting they’ll celebrate is up from 51% last year and edging closer to the 63% who expected to celebrate back in 2007, when the survey was first fielded.
The most popular gift purchases for respondents remain candy (52% planning to buy, unchanged from last year), greeting cards (43%), flowers (37%) and an evening out (34%).
Spending on jewelry, which is expected to increase by almost $2 billion ($5.8 billion, up from $3.9 billion last year) is once again expected to account for the largest portion of spending, ahead of evenings out ($4.3 billion), clothing ($2.9 billion), candy ($2.4 billion and flowers ($2.3 billion).
The proportion of people buying gifts for their furry friends also continues to increase, with more than one-quarter (27%) of consumers reporting that they will purchase something for their pet this Valentine’s Day, for an expected outlay of $1.7 billion (almost double the $886 million last year).
Valentine’s Day shoppers will primarily be heading to department stores (36%) and discount stores (32%) to buy their gifts. But more shoppers will be doing their shopping in the quiet of their own home or office, with one-third (32%) expecting to do their shopping online, up from 27% last year.
About the Data: The NRF data is based on a survey conducted among 7,267 US adults (18+) and fielded in early January 2020.