Valentine’s Day spending to be second highest on record at $25.9 billion

Marianne Wilson
valentines day shopping cart
More than half of U.S. consumers plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year.

Despite inflation, Americans are ready to show the love on Valentine’s Day — and that’s good news for retailers.

U.S. consumers are expected to spend $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 released by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics.

More than half (52%) of U.S. consumers plan to celebrate the holiday and will spend an average of $192.80, up from $175.41 in 2022, and the second-highest figure since NRF and Prosper started tracking Valentine’s Day spending in 2004.

Spending on significant others and family members is in line with last year. Of the $17 increase in per-person spending, $14 comes from gifts for pets, friends and co-workers, along with classmates or teachers.

Similar to recent years, the top shopping destination to purchase Valentine’s Day gifts is online (35%), closely followed by department stores (34%), discount stores (31%) 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 clothing (19%).

Other highlights from the NRF survey are below.

• More than half of consumers said they will take advantage of sales and promotions in celebrating Valentine’s Day this year.

• About one-third (32%) of consumers 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. 

“Men, in particular, are more likely to give a gift of experience compared with last year,” added Phil Rist, executive VP of strategy, Prosper.

• Spending on a special evening out is expected to hit nearly $4.4 billion.

• Spending on jewelry is expected to total more than $5.5 billion.

• Consumers 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 approximately $142.91 more than the average consumer celebrating the holiday.

• 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.

NRF conducted this survey of 7,616 U.S. adult consumers Jan. 3 through Jan. 11.

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