Who’s buying for who and what are they spending this Valentine’s Day?

Local News
Valentine's Day spending

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WSYR-TV) — You may notice the florist or other retailer where you can buy Valentine’s Day-related gifts a bit busier than last year.

Americans are expected to spend $27.4 billion on Valentine’s Day this year. That is up 32 percent from last year’s record of $20.7 billion, according to a survey by the National Retail Federation.

Those celebrating the holiday will spend an average of $196.31, the organization reports.

“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,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said.

In addition to strong consumer finances fueling the increased spending, changing consumer habits are at work.

While most Valentine’s Day spending, 52 percent of the total, still go to a spouse or a significant other, the share of money spent on “sweethearts” is down from 61 percent of the total ten years ago.

The NRF says a continuing trend of consumers buying gifts, cards, candy, and flowers for family, friends, co-workers, and their pets helped fuel the increase in total spending.

Seven percent of the total spent on the holiday is now spent on co-workers, more than double what it was ten years ago.

Six percent of the $27.4 billion holiday total will be spent on pets. That’s doubled in the last decade.

The survey found that 27 percent of consumers were planning on getting a gift for their pet, spending close to $1.7 billion.

Other Valentine’s Day numbers

Amount spent per person on:

  • Spouse or Sweetheart $101.21
  • Other family members $30.19
  • Friends $14.69
  • Children’s classmates and teachers $8.63
  • Co-workers $12.96
  • Pets $12.21
  • Others $10.60

Individual spending by age and gender

  • 18-24 $109.31
  • 25-34 $307.51
  • 35-44 $358.78
  • Men $291.15
  • Women $106.22

Total spending by item

  • Jewelry $5.8 billion
  • Evening out $4.3 billion
  • Clothing $2.9 billion
  • Candy $2.4 billion
  • Flowers $2.3 billion
  • Cards $1.3 billion

The survey also found that experience gifts, like a trip, tickets to an event or a spa, were wanted by 41 percent of those surveyed, but planned as gifts by just 28 percent.

Where do these numbers come from? The National Retail Federation commissioned a survey conducted by Prosper Insights and Analytics. It was a survey of 7, 267 adults conducted between January 2-9 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.2 percentage points.

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