NRF Predicts Modest V-Day

On the heels of a healthy yet reserved holiday shopping season, consumers aren’t quite ready to splurge on Valentine’s Day this year, according to the National Retail Federation’s 2014 Valentine’s Day spending survey.

The NRF predicts that 54 percent of Americans will celebrate with their loved ones this year, compared to 60 percent in 2013. The average person plans to spend $133.91, up slightly from $130.97 last year, with total spending expected to reach $17.3 billion.

“Valentine’s Day will continue to be a popular gift-giving event, even when consumers are frugal with their budgets,” says Matthew Shay, president and chief executive officer, NRF. “Consumers can expect Cupid’s holiday to resemble the promotional holiday season we saw just a few months ago, as retailers recognize that their customers are still looking for the biggest bang for their buck.”

Nearly half of gift givers (48.7 percent) will buy candy, a third (37.3 percent) will give flowers and over half (51.2 percent) will send greeting cards. Jewelry spending will total $3.9 billion with 19 percent planning to spend in that category, and 37 percent will celebrate with an evening out, spending an estimated total of $3.5 billion.

Men will spend $108.38 on gifts, twice as much as women, who will spend $49.41. But the holiday isn’t just for couples with people planning to show their appreciation for family members (59.4 percent), friends (21.7 percent), teachers (20.4 percent), colleagues (12.1 percent) and pets (19.4 percent).