NRF Predicts Consumers Will Spend $4.4 Billion on Jewelry for Valentine’s Day

A new study breaks down V-Day consumer spending

The National Retail Federation (NRF) predicts healthy consumer spending for this year’s Valentine’s Day—with a boost to jewelry sales included.

In its annual Valentine’s Day Consumer Spending Survey, the NRF predicts that 54.8 percent of consumers will celebrate the holiday—spending an average of  $146.84 on gifts (flowers, jewelry, candy, and apparel included) for sweethearts, family members, and coworkers. Last year’s total average spend was $142.31. 

The survey, which polled 7,293 consumers from January 5–12, 2016, was conducted for NRF by Prosper Insights & Analytics. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.2 percentage points.

“As the first major consumer holiday of 2016, Valentine’s Day could provide a positive boost in spending our economy needs,” said NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay in a statement. “Low gas prices and guaranteed promotions from retailers large and small should help consumers…. Looking ahead, we’re optimistic consumers are in a good place when it comes to spending on discretionary items like gifts.”

Total spending on Valentine’s Day gifts in the U.S. is expected to reach $19.7 billion.

Here’s what shoppers are buying (or planning to buy): $4.4 billion will be spent on jewelry, with nearly one in five (19.9 percent) “planning to treat their significant other or family member to something precious.” 47.9 percent of those celebrating will spend $1.1 billion on greeting cards. Two billion will be spent on apparel, and $1.9 billion will be spent on flowers.

Fifty percent of consumers will buy candy, spending a total of $1.7 billion. 38.3 percent plan to take their partners out to a restaurant or to buy tickets to a show “or another experience,” spending a total of $4.5 billion, which the NRF reports is the highest “experience” number the organization has forecasted since it began tracking spending on gifts in 2010.

According to the survey, 90.8 percent of consumers “said they would buy something for their significant other/spouse and are planning to spend an average of $89.86, up from $87.94 last year.” Total spending on significant others is expected to reach $12 billion. The remainder of the V-Day spend ($27.79) will be on gifts for other family members—kids and parents, mainly. Around $7.08 will be spent on children’s classmates and teachers, and the remaining $5.83 will go toward cards or gifts for coworkers.

Oddly enough, consumers will spend $681 million this year “to treat their favorite pets to Valentine’s Day delights.”

Here’s where people said they’re planning to shop: Department stores “will see the most traffic this Valentine’s Day” (34.5 percent); 31 percent will shop at a discount store; 27.9 percent will buy online; 19.4 percent will visit a florist; 19.1 percent will buy at a specialty store; and 5.4 percent will shop at a local small business.

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