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NRF-Valentine's-Day-Spend-2007-2014-Feb2014Some 53.8% of American adults plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year, a marked decrease from 59.9% last year and upwards of 60% in earlier years, per results from the NRF’s annual study. But while the number of celebrants is down to its lowest point in several years, celebrants are planning to spend more than at any other point in the survey’s history.

The $133.91 in spending per celebrant is only a modest 2.2% increase from last year’s $130.97, but is above the pre-recession days of 2008 ($119.67) and 2009 ($122.98). Still, the decline in celebrants means that the total amount of spending projected for this year – $17.3 billion – will remain below the 2013 ($18.6 billion) and 2012 ($17.6 billion) figures.

The NRF survey breaks down expected spending by gift recipients, popular items, and shopping destinations, among others. A list of selected results is provided below.

  • Not surprisingly, celebrants will devote the largest share of their Valentine’s budgets to their spouse or significant other. This year, they will spend an average of $78.09 on these loved ones, up from $73.75 last year.
  • Consumers will spend an average of $25.22 on other family members, such as children and parents, down slightly from $26.46 last year.
  • The average male celebrant plans to spend almost twice as much ($173.01, down very slightly from $175.61) as the average woman ($96.86, up 9.1% from $88.78) this Valentine’s Day.
  • 25-34-year-olds will spend an average of $218.43 (up 7.1% from $204.03), almost three times the amount ($74.95, up 10% from $68.14) adults 65 and older will spend.
  • Discount stores (34.7%, down from 39.6%) will be the most popular shopping destination again, but department stores (34.4%) will challenge them for holiday traffic this year. Some 26.1% plan to shop online, relatively unchanged from last year.
  • Greeting cards will be the most common gift option for celebrants (to be purchased by 51.2%), followed by candy (48.7%), flowers (37.3%), and an evening out (37%).
  • About 1 in 5 tablet owners will purchase a product on their device, compared to 12.8% of smartphone owners.

Separately, the NRF projects that retail sales will grow by 4.1% this year, with online sales expected to increase by 9-12%.

About the Data: The NRF’s 2014 Valentine’s Day spending survey was conducted for NRF by Prosper Insights & Analytics. The poll of 6,417 consumers was conducted from January 2-13, 2014 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.2 percentage points.

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