Surveys

Here’s What the NRF Is Saying About Valentine’s Day

SurveysJan 31, 2024

Here’s What the NRF Is Saying About Valentine’s Day

The organization shared its predictions on how much consumers will be spending and on whom.

Sig Ward heart ring
An 18-karat yellow gold and enamel ruby heart ring by Sig Ward (price upon request). Shoppers are expected to spend $6.4 billion on jewelry this Valentine’s Day, according to the annual survey by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights and Analytics.
Washington—Retailers will feel the love this Valentine’s Day, at least according to the National Retail Federation.

Spending for the holiday is expected to reach $25.8 billion, the results of the annual survey by NRF and Prosper Insights and Analytics shows.

The projected total is higher than last year’s forecast of $23.9 billion and marks the third-highest total in the survey’s history, not adjusted for inflation.

“Last year, consumers used Valentine’s Day to celebrate all the special relationships in their lives—from pets to friends and co-workers—and their spending reflected that,” NRF said. 

“This year, while consumers still value the non-romantic relationships in their lives, they are prioritizing gifts for significant others.” 

Shoppers plan to spend a record $14.2 billion on their significant others.

“Retailers are ready to help customers this Valentine’s Day with meaningful and memorable gifts,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “With consumers prioritizing their spouse or significant other this year, retailers expect to see a shift in spending for certain gifting categories.”

The top gift cited by survey-takers was candy (57 percent), followed by greeting cards (40 percent), flowers (39 percent), an evening out (32 percent), and jewelry (22 percent.)

Clothing (21 percent) and gift cards (19 percent) round out the list.

New spending records are expected for a few categories, with spending on jewelry forecast to reach $6.4 billion, up from the expected $6.2 billion last year.

The NRF includes all jewelry sales, from fine to fashion jewelry, in its calculations, as per a spokesperson.

“While shoppers may be spending the most on jewelry, overall, the most popular gifts are the classics—candy and greeting cards,” said Prosper Insights & Analytics Executive Vice President of Strategy Phil Rist. 

“We’re also seeing continued interest in gifts of experience, with about one-third of consumers planning to give a gift of experience this year.”

Spending on an evening out is predicted to reach a record $4.9 billion, followed by clothing ($3 billion) and flowers ($2.6 billion).

 Related stories will be right here … 

More than half of consumers (53 percent) plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day, compared with 52 percent last year.

Of those celebrating, 62 percent are consumers ages 25 to 34, more than any other age group.

For those not officially celebrating, 29 percent still plan to mark the day in some fashion, said NRF, opting to treat themselves to a gift or plan something with single friends or family members.

Consumers are expected to spend $185.81 each on average, nearly $8 more than the average Valentine’s Day spending over the last five years, said NRF.

The most popular place to shop for Valentine’s Day gifts is online (40 percent), up from 35 percent last year, followed by department stores (33 percent), discount stores (31 percent), and florists (17 percent).

The survey, conducted Jan. 2-8, asked 8,329 adult consumers about their Valentine’s Day shopping plans.

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