American Consumers are expected to forget their economic worries this Valentine’s Day and spend, spend, spend on their special other. And while Millennials might be set to be the biggest spenders, …
American Consumers are expected to forget their economic worries this Valentine’s Day and spend, spend, spend on their special other.
And while Millennials might be set to be the biggest spenders, for more careful lovers an engagement ring is on offer from one U.K. supermarket group for little more than a dollar.
In fact, shoppers are predicted to lay out $25.9 billion on Valentine’s Day this year, up from $23.9 billion in 2022 and one of the highest spending years on record, according to the annual survey of buying intentions released by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics.
More than half (52%) of consumers surveyed said that they plan to celebrate and will spend an average of $192.80.
That’s up from $175.41 in 2022, and the second-highest figure since NRF and Prosper started tracking Valentine’s Day spending in 2004.
While spending on significant others and family members is in line with last year, many consumers are also looking to show appreciation for the other meaningful relationships in their lives. Of the $17 increase in per-person spending, $14 comes from gifts for pets, friends and co-workers, along with classmates or teachers.
“Valentine’s Day is a special occasion to shop for the people we care most about,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said of the findings. “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.”
Those aged 35-to-44 plan to outspend other age groups, allocating $335.71 on average for gifts and other Valentine’s Day items, which is nearly $143 more than the average consumer celebrating the occassion.
So it seems we’ve found our loved up sweet spot!
Spending location is quite evenly spread and similar to recent years. The top shopping destination to purchase Valentine’s Day gifts is online (35%), just edging ahead of department stores (34%), discount stores (31%) — maybe best to keep that one quiet — and specialty stores (18%).
The top gifts include candy (57%), greeting cards (40%), flowers (37%), an evening out (32%), jewelry (21%), gift cards (20%) and apparel (19%).
Indeed, Americans plan to spend more than $5.5 billion on jewelry and nearly $4.4 billion on a special evening out. About one-third (32%) plan to give a gift of experience, up from 26% last year and the highest since NRF and Prosper started asking this question in 2017.
The $1.24 Engagement Ring
Perhaps for the harder hit amour, in the U.K., supermarket chain Asda — previously owned by Walmart
The silver-colored band comes with an imitation diamond jewel for shoppers on a budget, housed in a red, heart-shaped box as a gift in time for Valentine’s Day.
Asda’s initiative comes after U.K. discounter Poundland successfully grabbed the headlines in recent years for selling a £1 engagement ring called the ‘Bling Ring’.
On February 14 2020, Poundland said it sold around 40,000 engagement rings, almost doubling 2019’s sales.
“Men, in particular, are more likely to give a gift of experience compared with last year,” Prosper EVP of strategy Phil Rist 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.”
Even among those who don’t plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day, 28% will still mark the occasion in some way, seeking non-Valentine’s gifts, treating themselves to something special or planning a get-together or evening out with single friends and family members.
The NRF conducted this survey of 7,616 U.S. adult consumers Jan. 3 through Jan. 11.