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NRF sees only slight increase in Valentine’s Day spending


Washington -- Consumers aren’t quite ready to shell out the big bucks for their loved ones this Valentine’s Day as much as they were last year. The 2013 Valentine's Day Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey conducted for the National Retail Federation by BIGinsight shows only a slight increase in expected sales this year with the average person planning to spend $130.97 on candy, cards, gifts and more, up from $126.03 last year. Total spending will reach $18.6 billion.

More than half (51.0%) of gift givers will buy candy, spending $1.6 billion in total, and another one-third (36.6%) will give flowers, with total spending expected to top $1.9 billion. Others will treat their special someone to jewelry (19.7%), spending more than $4.4 billion on diamonds, gold and silver.

An additional 15.6% will buy clothing, spending more than $1.6 billion. Fifteen percent of gift givers will buy gift cards, totaling to $1.5 billion.

The survey found that more than one-quarter (26.3%) of those celebrating plan to buy their gifts online, up from 19.3% last year and the most in the survey’s 10-year history. Other shoppers will seek out the perfect gift at discount stores (39.6%), department stores (33.2%), specialty stores (22.9%), floral shops (19.6%), jewelry stores (11.2%), specialty clothing stores (7.5%) and through catalogs (2.6%).

The average male will spend significantly more than the average woman this year. Men will spend an average of $175.61 on jewelry, flowers, a romantic evening out and more, while their counterparts will spend approximately $88.78.

Additionally, four in 10 (40.7%) smartphone owners will use their handhelds to shop for gifts, and 46.9% of tablet owners will use their devices to purchase items, research gift ideas and more.

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