Select Page

On average, each consumer plans to spend $122.98 on Valentine’s Day (similar to last year’s $119.67) resulting in total Valentine’s Day spending to reach $17.02 billion*, according to the National Retail Federation’s 2008 Valentine’s Day Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, conducted by BIGresearch.


Not surprisingly, men will again dish out the most this year, spending an average of $163.37 on gifts and cards, compared with an average of $84.72 spent by women, NRF said.

Among the other survey findings:

  • Six out of ten consumers plan on celebrating this year, and the majority of them plan to spend the most on their significant other or spouse ($79.99).


  • Consumers plan to spend slightly more this year than last on friends ($5.75 vs. $4.93 in 2007), children’s classmates and teachers ($4.05 vs. $3.35) and coworkers ($3.02 vs. $2.40).


  • Traditional gifts, such as candy, flowers and jewelry, will undergo a slight decrease in popularity this year, with more consumers preferring gifts of experience and gift cards:
    • Almost half (48.2%) of all consumers plan a special night out, compared to 45.3% last year.
    • 12.3% will give a gift card, compared with 11.3% who said so last year.
    • Greeting cards still remain the most popular choice, though the number of people planning to purchase one is down from last year (56.8% vs. 62.8%).
    • Nearly 48.0% of consumers will buy candy.
    • 35.9% will buy flowers.
    • 11.8% will buy clothing.
  • Adults aged 25-34 plan to spend the most this year – $160.37 on average.
    • Young adults will be the second-biggest spenders, with the average 18-24-year-old expecting to spend $145.59.
    • Next in spending are 45-54-year-olds ($117.91), 35-44-year-olds ($116.35) and 55-64-year-olds ($110.97).
  • When it comes to real puppy love, 17.2% of celebrators also plan to spend on their pets this Valentine’s Day. Spending on pets for the holiday is estimated to reach $367 million.

“Consumers are expected to invest time and money on gifts of experience this year, in addition to staple Valentine’s Day gifts,” said Vice President of Strategy for BIGresearch Phil Rist. “Whether it’s a weekend getaway or a night out on the town, consumers are looking for quality rather than quantity.”

*Extrapolation based on US population of adults 18+.

About the survey: The NRF 2008 Valentine’s Day Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, conducted for NRF by BIGresearch, was designed to gauge consumer behavior and shopping trends related to Valentine’s Day. The poll of 8,447 consumers was conducted January 2-8, 2008.

Feel Like You're Always Playing Catchup?

Stay ahead of the curve with our free newsletter. It’s fast. It’s factual. And it’s clear

marketing charts logo

Error: Please enter a valid email address

Error: Invalid email

Error: Please enter your first name

Error: Please enter your last name

Error: Please enter a username

Error: Please enter a password

Error: Please confirm your password

Error: Password and password confirmation do not match