Americans are expected to spend a record-breaking amount on Valentine’s Day this year, according to the National Retail Federation. Consumers have said they plan to spend an average of $196.31 for the February holiday. That’s up 21% over last year’s record of $161.96. Holiday spending across the nation is estimated to total $27.4 billion, which is 32% higher than in 2019. Last year's total was a record $20.7 billion in Valentine’s sales.
Valentine’s budgets are growing for a variety of reasons. Part of it may be a sign of a strong economy. According to National Retail Federation President and CEO Matthew Shay, holiday spending is evidence of “strong employment numbers” and “higher wages.”
When it comes to where that spending goes, 52% of consumers plan to spend money on candy, 43% on greetings cards, 37% on flowers, 34% on an evening out, 28% on either event tickets or a trip to a spa, 21% on jewelry, 20% on clothing, and 19% on gift cards.
“It’s our busiest day of the year. We have at least 10 times the amount of flower sales as an average day. We will have upwards of 800 deliveries on Valentine’s Day and 12 vans delivering all day long,” said Natalie Adams, manager of The Rose Shop on 1st Street. “Fresh flowers are the perfect way to express your love.”
When it comes to total dollars spent, it seems diamonds really are a girl's best friend. Americans plan to spend more on jewelry than anything else this Valentine's Day, with an estimated $5.8 billion.
"Every Valentines Day we're super busy, and this one is no different," said Richard Black, manager of Ingram's Jewelers on A Street. "It's really personal when a man gives jewelry to his wife."
Another factor is the growing trend to buy Valentine’s gifts for more than just a consumer’s significant other. Though spouses and significant others still account for 52% of spending, people are now more likely to spend money on Valentine’s gifts and cards for friends, family, co-workers, children’s classmates, teachers and pets, the survey said.
Pets are certainly the fastest growing sector of gift recipients. Twenty-seven percent of Americans are expected to spend money on their pets for a total of $1.7 billion. In 2010, only 17% of the nation spent money on pets at Valentine’s Day. The 17th Street PetCo currently has Valentine’s themed pet clothing for sale. Employees at SPLASH Self Serve Pet Spa & Pet Supplies on Cliff Street said they have noticed their baked goods for dogs selling at a higher rate than usual.