Valentine’s Day Spending on Significant Others to Reach New Record

Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day is returning to its romantic traditions, with total spending on significant others for the holiday expected to reach a record $14.2 billion, according to a National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics survey.

“Retailers are ready to help customers this Valentine’s Day with meaningful and memorable gifts,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said in a news release. “With consumers prioritizing their spouse or significant other this year, retailers expect to see a shift in spending for certain gifting categories.”

Popular Valentine’s Day Gifts

The top gifts include candy (57%), greeting cards (40%), flowers (39%), an evening out (32%), jewelry (22%), clothing (21%) and gift cards (19%), the survey states. New spending records are expected for jewelry ($6.4 billion), flowers ($2.6 billion), clothing ($3 billion) and an evening out ($4.9 billion).

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Over half of consumers (53%) plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year, on par with 52% last year, according to NRF. Overall, consumers plan to spend a total of $25.8 billion to celebrate Valentine’s Day, on par with last year’s spending and the third highest in the survey’s history. Sixty-two percent of consumers ages 25-34 plan to celebrate this year, more than any other age group. 

Consumers expect to spend $185.81 each on average, nearly $8 more than the average Valentine’s Day spending over the last five years, the survey states.

How Consumers Are Celebrating

Online continues to be the most popular destination to shop for Valentine’s Day gifts at 40%, up from 35% last year, according to the survey. Consumers also plan to head to department stores (33%), discount stores (31%) and florists (17%).

“While shoppers may be spending the most on jewelry, overall, the most popular gifts are the classics – candy and greeting cards,” Prosper Insights & Analytics Executive Vice President of Strategy Phil Rist said in the release. “We’re also seeing continued interest in gifts of experience with about one-third of consumers planning to give a gift of experience this year.”

Among those not celebrating Valentine’s Day, 29% still plan to mark the occasion in some way, the survey states. Many will treat themselves to something special, while others will plan a get-together or evening out with their single friends or family members.