Report: Fewer Americans Plan to Celebrate Valentine’s Day

Kohl's celebrates Valentine's Day with "What's Not to Love" promotion

Kohl’s celebrates Valentine’s Day with “What’s Not to Love” promotion

Washington—Probably due to the status of the bank accounts rather than their romances, fewer U.S. shoppers say they will celebrate—and spend—for Valentine’s Day this year.

The findings are part of the National Retail Federation’s 2014 Valentine’s Day spending study conducted by Prosper Insights and Analytics.

About 20% to Buy Jewelry

This year 54% of Americans say they will celebrate their loved ones compared with 60% who said that last year. Despite the smaller number, however, spending will edge up.

The average person plans to spend $133.91 on candy, cards, gifts, dinner and more, up slightly from $130.97 last year. Total spending is expected to reach $17.3 billion.*

“Consumers can expect Cupid’s holiday to resemble the promotional holiday season we saw just a few months ago, as retailers recognize that their customers are still looking for the biggest bang for their buck,” said NRF President/CEO Matthew Shay.

Gift-givers will find the perfect gift for their loved ones that fits their budget, whether it’s candy, flowers, jewelry, clothing, an evening out or simply a greeting card. Nearly half (48.7%) will buy candy, a third will give flowers (37.3%) and over half (51.2%) will send greeting cards.

As for jewelry, the perennial sweetheart present, 19% will treat their significant other to something sparkly, spending a total of $3.9 billion. Another 37% will celebrate with an evening out, spending an estimated total of $3.5 billion. Others will give more practical gifts like clothing (15.8%) or gift cards (14%).

Men will spend $108.38–twice as much as women who will spend $49.41 on their special someone. But Valentine’s Day isn’t just for couples; people will show their appreciation for family members (59.4%) friends (21.7%) teachers (20.4%) and colleagues (12.1%).

“While fewer are planning to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year, millions of shoppers will still  make room in their discretionary budgets to send cards and gifts to loved ones or enjoy a special evening out,” said Prosper Insights Director Pam Goodfellow. “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.”

Cautious consumers do their research when it comes to shopping, and many will purchase gifts online. The survey found that 26.1% plan to shop online this Valentine’s Day, flat with last year’s 26.3%. Many will turn to their tablets or smartphones before making their final gift decisions; 24% will research products or compare prices on their smartphones and 32.2% will do so on their tablets.

About the Survey

The NRF’s 2014 Valentine’s Day spending survey was designed to gauge consumer behavior and shopping trends related to Valentine’s Day. The survey was conducted for NRF by Prosper Insights & Analytics. The poll of 6,417 consumers was conducted from January 2-13 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.2 percentage points. www.nrf.com

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