Sponsored By

Consumers are choosing to spend more on significant others than friends and co-workers.

Jane Neal

February 8, 2024

3 Min Read
Valentines Gift, artursfoto, iStock / Getty Images Plus
Valentines Giftartursfoto, iStock / Getty Images Plus

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. It’s a holiday that inspires contradictions: warm fuzzies for some, cynicism for others. It’s certainly not as universally popular as some holidays. According to the annual survey released by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Prosper Insights & Analytics, just over half of consumers (53%) plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year, which is on par with 52% last year. Candy lovers are a bit more invested, as a survey by the National Confectioners Association (NCA) found that 68% of consumers say they celebrate the holiday “most years.” 

Those who do celebrate the romantic occasion will be concentrating their spending on significant others this year. The NRF reports that Valentine’s Day spending on significant others will reach a new record this year. Total spending on sweethearts for the holiday, including candy, cards, flowers and other items, is expected to reach a record $14.2 billion.

“Retailers are ready to help customers this Valentine’s Day with meaningful and memorable gifts,” says Matthew Shay, president, chief executive officer, NRF. “With consumers prioritizing their spouse or significant other this year, retailers expect to see a shift in spending for certain gifting categories.”

Related:Sweet Treats Rule Valentine’s Day

As License Global reported last week, candy remains one of the most popular Valentine’s Day gifts. The NRF ranks candy as one of the top gifts at 57%. Other top gifts include greeting cards (40%), flowers (39%), an evening out (32%), jewelry (22%), clothing (21%) and gift cards (19%). New spending records are expected for jewelry ($6.4 billion), flowers ($2.6 billion), clothing ($3 billion) and an evening out ($4.9 billion).

Overall, the NRF reports consumers plan to spend a total of $25.8 billion to celebrate Valentine’s Day (contrasted with spending only on significant others), on par with last year’s spending and the third highest in the survey’s history. Valentine’s Day is most popular with consumers ages 25-34, with 62% planning to celebrate this year, more than any other age group. 

Consumers expect to spend $185.81 each on average, nearly $8 more than the average Valentine’s Day spending over the last five years.  

According to the NRF, consumers used Valentine’s Day last year to celebrate all the special relationships in their lives – from pets to friends and co-workers – and their spending reflected that. This year, while consumers still value the non-romantic relationships in their lives, they are prioritizing gifts for significant others. Statista reports that in 2024, U.S. consumers planned to spend a total of over $14 billion on presents for their significant other or spouse, and about $4 billion on gifts for other family members. Furry friends will be basking in the love as Statista found consumers in the U.S. planned to spend more on their pets than on their co-workers.

Online shopping is the most popular destination for Valentine’s Day gifts at 40%, up from 35% last year. Consumers also plan to head to department stores (33%), discount stores (31%) and florists (17%).

“While shoppers may be spending the most on jewelry, overall, the most popular gifts are the classics – candy and greeting cards,” says Phil Rist, executive vice president, strategy, Prosper Insights & Analytics. “We’re also seeing continued interest in gifts of experience with about one-third of consumers planning to give a gift of experience this year.”

Although some consumers pretend to ignore the holiday, the NRF found that even among those not celebrating Valentine’s Day, 29% still plan to mark the occasion in some way. Many will treat themselves to something special, while others will plan a get-together or evening out with their single friends or family members.

About the Author(s)

Jane Neal

Content Editor, License Global

Jane Neal is a Content Editor for License Global. Working remotely in the great state of Wisconsin, Jane specializes in retail and pop-culture trends.

She has worked extensively in the communication field as a managing editor, advertising copywriter, technical writer and journalist. She detoured for several years into academia where she taught journalism, English and humanities at the college level.

A complete Marvel nerd, she enjoys food, films, fishing, friends and family … and alliteration.

Subscribe and receive the latest news from the industry Article
Join 62,000+ members. Yes, it's completely free.

You May Also Like