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01/25/2023

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

Marianne Wilson
Editor-in-Chief
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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.