Valentine’s Day Spending to Decline

On the heels of a decade-long rise in Valentine’s Day spending, 2017 will see a market correction on Cupid’s birthday, according to the National Retail Federation.

April 6, 2018

Valentine’s Day Spending to Decline

Total spending for the romantic holiday is expected to top at $18.2 billion.


According to an annual survey conducted in partnership with Prosper Insights & Analytics, U.S. consumers are expected to spend an average of $136.57 for a total of $18.2 billion—down from 2016’s record-high of $146.84 and $19.7 billion, respectively.

“Valentine’s Day continues to be a popular gift-giving occasion even if consumers are being more frugal this year,” says Matthew Shay, president and chief executive officer, NRF. “This is the one day of the year when millions find a way to show their loved ones they care regardless of their budget. Consumers will find that retailers recognize that their customers are looking for the best deals and will offer good bargains just as they did during the holiday season.”?

Starting at an average of $119.67 for a total of $16.9 billion in 2007, Valentine’s Day spending grew most years before

peaking in 2016. However, the number of people surveyed who plan to celebrate the holiday has dropped nearly 10 percentage points over the same period—from 63 percent in 2007 to 54 percent this year.

This year’s survey revealed that consumers plan to spend an average of $85.21 on their partner, $26.59 on other family members, $6.56 on children’s classmates/teachers, $6.51 on friends, $4.27 on co-workers and $4.44 on pets.

The survey also showed that consumers plan to spend $4.3 billion on jewelry (19 percent of shoppers), $3.8 billion on an evening out (37 percent), $2 billion on flowers (35 percent), $1.9 billion on clothing (19 percent), $1.7 billion on candy (50 percent), $1.4 billion on gift cards/gift certificates (16 percent) and $1 billion on greeting cards (47 percent).

Another popular present this year, according to the survey, is “gifts of experience,” such as concert/sporting event tickets, a gym membership or an outdoor adventure. Forty percent of consumers want an experience gift; however, only 24 percent plan to give one.

The places from where these Valentine’s Day gifts will come consist of department stores (35 percent), discount stores (32 percent), online (27 percent), specialty stores (18 percent), florists (18 percent) and local small businesses (15 percent).

“While fewer are planning to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year, millions of shoppers will still make room in their budgets to spoil their loved ones,” says Pam Goodfellow, principal analyst, Prosper Insights & Analytics. “Consumers can expect promotions on everything from flowers to date-night dinner packages in the coming days, leaving plenty of ideas for those looking to spoil their Valentines.”

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