NRF: Valentine’s Day Spending to Reach $17.8 Billion



The average person celebrating Valentine’s Day will spend an average of $126.03, up 8.5 percent over last year, according to the National Retail Federations’ 2012 Valentine’s Day Consumer Intentions and Actions survey, conducted by BIGinsight.

“As one of the biggest gift-giving holidays of the year, it’s encouraging that consumers are still exhibiting the desire to spend on discretionary gift items, a strong indication our economy continues to move in the right direction,” said NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay in a statement. “Anticipating high foot traffic in the coming weeks, retailers have replenished their inventories and will entice eager shoppers with great deals on everything from special menu items at restaurants to clothing to flowers and, of course, chocolates.”

The survey found that 18.9 percent of consumers will buy jewelry, up from 17.3 percent last year and the highest percent in the survey’s history. Total spending on jewelry is expected to reach $4.1 billion, up from $3.5 billion last year.

“I’ve noticed an increase in diamond sales not only around this Valentine’s Day season but throughout the past year,” says Michael McCabe of Castiglione Jewelers in Gloversville, N.Y. “Pandora bracelets and charms have also been very popular gifts.”

Bill Elebash of Elebash Jewelry Company in Pensacola, Fla., tells JCK that he is predicating a surge in the next couple of works because “men are notoriously late shoppers.”

Other findings from the study

  • Consumers’ “better halves” will shell out the most on their partners, with the average person planning to spend $74.12 on their spouse or significant other, up from $68.98 last year.
  • The average male is expected to spend $168.74 on clothing, jewelry, and greeting cards this year—nearly twice as much as women who are expected to spend an average of $85.76.
  • 13.3 percent will buy gift cards, up from 12.6 percent last year.
  • Half of all celebrants will buy candy, 36 percent will buy flowers, and 35.6 percent will treat someone to a nice evening out.
  • Consumers will spend more than $3.5 billion on a special evening out. Consumers will also spend $1.8 billion on flowers, $1.5 billion on candy, $1.4 billion on clothing, and $1.1 billion on gift cards.
  • One-third of shoppers will head to department stores, up from 30.5 percent last year.
  • 19.3 percent of consumers will shop online for gifts this Valentine’s Day, up from 18.1 percent last year.
  • More than half of all tablet owners will use their device to research products, compare prices, redeem coupons, look up retailer information or purchase products.
  • 40.4 percent of smartphone owners will use their mobile device to do the same.