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Pandemic cuts into Valentine’s Day spending, traditions 

Valentines gift

More than half (52%) of U.S. adults plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year, but they will be spending less than in 2020. And more will be staying home. 

Those celebrating plan to spend an average $164.76, down $32 on average per person from last year, according to the annual report released by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics. Total Valentine’s Day spending this year is expected to hit  $21.8 billion, down from $27.4 billion last year. 

While 73% of consumers celebrating Valentine’s Day this year feel it’s important to do so given the current state of the pandemic, 74% of them said COVID-19 will directly impact their plans for the holiday. The classic candy, cards and flowers remain popular, but there is a significant decline in the number of consumers who will plan for an evening out. Only 21% are planning an evening out, the lowest in the survey’s history.  And 41% said  they will plan an at-home special dinner or celebration at home. 

This year, online is the most popular Valentine’s Day shopping destination, visited by 39%, followed by department stores (29%), discount stores (28%) and local small businesses and specialty stores tied (17%). This  is the first time consumers listed small businesses as a top five shopping destination since the question was added to the survey in 2015.

More proof of the pandemic’s impact on spending plans is the decrease in spending on teachers, classmates and co-workers as remote learning and working continues. Consumers plan to spend an average of $10.77 on their children’s classmates and teachers, down from $14.45 last year. Additionally, they plan to spend an average of $8.47 on colleagues, down from $12.96 in 2020.


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