The NRF says sales for Valentine’s Day activities are expected to increase.
The findings are part of the organization's Valentine’s Day Consumer Spending Survey, which was conducted by Prosper Insights and Analytics.
According to the NRF, 54.8 percent of consumers will celebrate the romantic holiday and will spend an average of $146.84–up from $142.31 last year–on flowers, jewelry, candy, apparel and more.
Total spending is expected to reach $19.7 billion, a record high for the survey.
“As the first major consumer holiday of 2016, Valentine’s Day could provide a positive boost in spending our economy needs,” says Matthew Shay, president and chief executive officer, NRF. “Low gas prices and guaranteed promotions from retailers large and small should help consumers as they look for the perfect gift for their friends and family. Looking ahead, we’re optimistic consumers are in a good place when it comes to spending on discretionary
Other survey findings include:
Half of consumers surveyed said they plan to buy candy, spending a total of $1.7 billion. Additionally, roughly four in 10 of those celebrating (38.3 percent) plan take their date out to a restaurant, a show or another experience, spending a total of $4.5 billion, which is the highest since the NRF began tracking spending on gifts.
An additional $4.4 billion will be spent on necklaces, earrings and other jewelry items, while $1.1 billion will be spent on greeting cards, an estimated $2 billion on apparel and $1.9 billion on flowers.
Nearly 90.8 percent of consumers said they would buy something for their significant other/spouse and plan to spend an average of $89.86, up from $87.94 last year. Total spending on significant others is expected to reach $12 billion.
Consumers will spend an average of $27.79 on other family members, such as children and parents, $7.08 on children’s classmates and teachers and $5.83 on coworkers. The survey also predicts consumers will spend $681 million on their pets.
Nearly 24 percent of those surveyed said they plan to give the gift of a experience such as concert tickets or a spa service. Meanwhile, roughly 38.8 percent said they would want to receive a gift of experience.
Department stores will see the most traffic this year (34.5 percent) and 31 percent of consumers will shop at their favorite discount stories, while 27.9 percent will shop online, 19.4 percent will visit a florist, 19.1 percent will shop at a specialty store and 15.4 percent will shop at local, small businesses.
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