Valentine’s Day spending estimated to be $25.9 billion

by Kim Souza ([email protected]) 526 views 

Consumers plan to spend big for Valentine’s Day totaling an estimated $25.9 billion, up 8.36% from a year ago, according to a National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics survey.

“Valentine’s Day is a special occasion to shop for the people we care most about,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “This year, as consumers embrace spending on friends and loved ones, retailers are ready to help customers celebrate Valentine’s Day with memorable gifts at affordable prices.”

The spending projections are not adjusted for inflation which has sent prices for candy, flowers, restaurant experiences and jewelry higher than in recent years. A dozen roses can cost between $30 to $69, depending on the color, vase type and geographic location, according to 1-800-Flowers. The average cost of a dozen red roses is up 20% from a year ago. Candy prices are 10% higher and restaurant food prices are up 8.3% year-over-year, according to the National Restaurant Association.

Higher prices are a part of the reason for the bigger average spend of $192.80 this Valentine’s Day which is 9.92% above a year ago. NRF said while individual spending is up, about 52% of consumers plan to celebrate the holiday this year, down from 53% last year.

The survey found 57% plan to buy candy and 40% will buy greeting cards. Floral shops will do well with 37% saying they will spend $4.4 billion. One in three said they will go out for the evening for a total spend of $5.5 billion, while 21% intend to buy jewelry and one in five said they plan to buy gift cards or clothing this holiday.

NRF said while spending on significant others and family members is similar with 2021, some seek to show appreciation for the other meaningful relationships in their lives. Of the $17 increase in per-person spending, $14 comes from gifts for pets, friends and co-workers, along with classmates or teachers.

“Men, in particular, are more likely to give a gift of experience compared with last year,” said Prosper Executive Vice President of Strategy Phil Rist. “Another notable finding is that more than half of consumers say they will take advantage of sales and promotions as they celebrate Valentine’s Day this year.”

Even among those who don’t plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day, 28% will still mark the occasion in some way, seeking non-Valentine’s gifts, treating themselves to something special or planning a get-together or evening out with single friends and family members, the survey found.

Economists with said while there is nothing wrong with showering a loved one with gifts, it’s still possible to celebrate the day on a budget. Bankrate suggests planning ahead and making Valentine’s Day dinner reservations at least 10 days in advance or perhaps celebrating at home. HelloFresh reports 42% of its survey respondents said they prefer a home-cooked meal on Valentine’s Day.

Bankrate also suggests consumers stick to a budget, perhaps redeem credit card rewards to help with purchases or get creative with experiences that don’t cost a lot like enjoying the great outdoors or movie night at home.