Valentine's Day is just over a week away, and if you haven't already found that perfect gift for your significant other, now is the time to start shopping. According to a study conducted by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Prosper Insights, consumers will spend a grand total of $26 billion this February 14, which means most American shoppers will shell out $192.80 on the holiday of love. That chunk of change won't be spent exclusively on partners, though: The NRF reports Americans will earmark $130 for gifts, dinners, and experiences for their significant others, but will use the other $50 on presents for friends, children, co-workers, teachers, and pets.
“Valentine’s Day is a special occasion to shop for the people we care most about,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “This year, as consumers embrace spending on friends and loved ones, retailers are ready to help customers celebrate Valentine’s Day with memorable gifts at affordable prices.”
So, what types of gifts are we all giving our partners this Valentine's Day? According to the NRF, candy is the most popular present of the season, with over 57% of respondents reporting that they intend to treat their significant other to something sweet this year. Greeting cards, flowers, an evening out, jewelry, gift cards, and clothing all follow. Unlike previous years, about one-third of respondents plan to surprise their partner to an experiential gift this Valentine's Day; in 2022, only 26% of Americans planned to give this type of gift on February 14. “Men, in particular, are more likely to give a gift of experience compared with last year,” Prosper Executive Vice President of Strategy Phil Rist said.
As for where we plan to shop for these gifts, the NRF reports that the majority of Americans will do their buying online. Department stores, discount stores, and speciality stores are other popular shopping destinations. The main takeaway? We'll all seek out great deals where we can. Reit said, “Another notable finding is more than half of consumers say they will take advantage of sales and promotions as they celebrate Valentine’s Day this year.” It's an expensive holiday, after all: Americans plan to collectively spend about $5.5 billion on jewelry and $4.4 billion on dining out this February 14. And it's even more expensive for anyone in the 35 to 44 age range. The NRF reports that people in that age group generally outspend all others. This year, they will shell out roughly $335 on Valentine's Day gifts and related items, which is over $140 more than the average consumer.
Those not in relationships will still celebrate the holiday of love this year. The NRF says 28% of single respondents indicated that they will mark February 14 by "seeking non-Valentine’s gifts, treating themselves to something special, or planning a get-together or evening out with single friends and family members."