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 this week by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics.
More than half (52%) of consumers plan to celebrate and will spend an average of $192.80. This is up from $175.41 in 2022, and the second-highest figure since NRF and Prosper started tracking Valentine’s Day spending in 2004.
“Valentine’s Day is a special occasion to shop for the people we care most about,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “This year, as consumers embrace spending on friends and loved ones, retailers are ready to help customers celebrate Valentine’s Day with memorable gifts at affordable prices.”
While spending on significant others and family members is in line with last year, many consumers are looking to show appreciation for the other meaningful relationships in their lives. Of the $17 increase in per-person spending, $14 comes from gifts for pets, friends and co-workers, along with classmates or teachers.
Those age 35 to 44 plan to outspend other age groups, allocating $335.71 on average for gifts and other Valentine’s Day items, approximately $142.91 more than the average consumer celebrating the holiday.
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%). Americans plan to spend more than $5.5 billion on jewelry and nearly $4.4 billion on a special evening out. About one-third (32%) 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,” Prosper Analytics Executive VP of Strategy Phil Rist said. “Another notable finding is more than half of consumers say they will take advantage of sales and promotions as they celebrate Valentine’s Day this year.”
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. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.1 percentage points.