U.S. consumers seem to be in love with Valentine’s Day, as spending for this year’s holiday is set to reach a record of $27.4 billion.
That’s according to the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics, which conducted a survey of 7,267 adult consumers between Jan. 2-9.
The NRF noted total spending is up 32 percent from 2019, thanks to strong consumer finances and the ongoing trend of consumers buying more gifts, cards, candy and flowers for friends, family, co-workers and pets.
“Valentine’s Day is a sentimental tradition, but gift-giving can be driven by the economy,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Consumers spent freely during the 2019 winter holidays and they appear ready to do the same in the new year. The same strong employment numbers and higher wages that boosted holiday sales should make it easier to spend a little extra to say ‘I love you’ this year and to spread the gift-giving beyond just your significant other.”
More than half (55 percent) of consumers are expected to celebrate Valentine’s Day after a dip to 51 percent in 2019. On an individual basis, shoppers are projected to spend an average of $196.31, up 21 percent over last year’s average.
Just over half of survey respondents said they’d spend on candy, representing about $2.4 billion. They’re also expected to spend $5.8 billion on jewelry (given by 21 percent), $4.3 billion on an evening out (34 percent), $2.9 billion on clothing (20 percent), $2.3 billion on flowers (37 percent), $2 billion on gift cards (19 percent) and $1.3 billion on greeting cards (43 percent).
The largest share (52 percent) of spending on gifts will go toward spouses and significant others, but that’s down from 61 percent in 2010. The NRF attributes the drop to increased spending on others. The amount spent on co-workers, for example, more than doubled from 3 to 7 percent over the last decade. The share for pets also doubled to 6 percent from 3 percent over the same time period.
Consumers say they’ll spend an average $101.21 on spouses and significant others; $30.19 on family members other than spouses; $14.69 on friends; $14.45 on children’s classmates and teachers; $12.96 on co-workers; $12.21 on pets; and $10.60 on others.