Consumers will spend near-record $19.6B on Valentine’s Day

by | Feb 8, 2018 | Public Relations

U.S. consumers are expected to spend an average $143.56 on Valentine’s Day as 55 percent of the population celebrates this year, an increase from last year’s $136.57, according to the annual survey from the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics.

Total spending is expected to reach $19.6 billion, up from $18.2 billion last year. The numbers are the second-highest in the survey’s 15-year history, topped only by the record $146.84 and $19.7 billion seen in 2016.

“Americans are looking forward to pampering and indulging their loved ones with flowers, candy, dinner and all of the other Valentine’s Day stops,” said NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay, in a news release. “With the holidays behind them and the winter months dragging along, consumers are looking for something to celebrate this time of year.”

Who are we buying for? (It’s not just significant others)

This year’s survey found consumers plan to spend an average $88.98 on their significant other/spouse ($12.1 billion), $25.29 on other family members such as children or parents ($3.5 billion), $7.26 on children’s classmates/teachers ($991 million), $7.19 on friends ($982 million), $5.50 on pets ($751 million) and $4.79 on co-workers ($654 million). Those 25-34 will be the biggest spenders at an average of $202.76.

What are we buying? (It’s not just jewelry)

Those celebrating Valentine’s Day plan to spend $4.7 billion on jewelry (given by 19 percent), $3.7 billion on an evening out (35 percent), $2 billion on flowers (36 percent), $1.9 billion on clothing (17 percent), $1.5 billion on gift cards/gift certificates (15 percent) and $894 million on greeting cards (46 percent). More consumers plan on purchasing candy this year, with 55 percent (up from 50 percent) saying they will give gifts of candy for a total of $1.8 billion.

“Gifts of experience” such as tickets to a concert or sporting event continue to be popular, sought by 42 percent of consumers, but only 24 percent plan to give one. Those 25-34 are the most likely to give such a gift at 41 percent.

Where are we shopping?

Much the same as last year, consumers plan to shop at department stores (35 percent), discount stores (32 percent), online (29 percent), specialty stores (19 percent), florists (17 percent), and local small businesses (14 percent).

Even those foregoing Valentine’s Day festivities won’t be left out. More than a quarter (27 percent) of consumers who are not observing the holiday have an alternative in mind such as treating themselves in some way or getting together with family and friends.

“Valentine’s Day has become a holiday consumers take advantage of not only to spoil their loved ones but themselves,” said Prosper executive vice president of strategy Phil Rist, in the release. “Shoppers should look out for deals on everything from candy to date-night dinner packages in the coming days, leaving plenty of options for those looking to make the occasion truly special.”

The survey, which asked 7,277 consumers about their Valentine’s Day plans, was conducted January 3-10 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.1 percentage points.

Daily PR Updates

Essential PR industry news, opinion, and analysis delivered to your inbox daily.

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 12 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richardc@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter

RECENT ARTICLES

7 leading metrics to measure the success of your PR campaign

7 leading metrics to measure the success of your PR campaign

Can you believe that about 82 percent of PR professionals had no idea how to measure and evaluate their campaign’s ROI not that long ago? Yes, measuring PR campaigns is tricky, but you can't ignore this process if you want to succeed with your PR endeavors. PR...

ICYMI: Bulldog’s Top 10 most popular posts in March

ICYMI: Bulldog’s Top 10 most popular posts in March

For the first time ever, Bulldog was out of commission for much of the month (and thanks for all the well wishes I received, my family is safe and healthy). But we managed to make a pretty big splash upon our return, getting back in the groove with some terrific...

The vital role of social media in your timeshare PR strategy

The vital role of social media in your timeshare PR strategy

A public relations campaign for the timeshare industry needs to use a variety of communication platforms. Timeshare customers make up a diverse demographic, and it's important to reach them where they are. Your B2B public relations, for example, might include media...