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January 29, 2024

NRF: Valentine’s Day Spending Should Warm Retail Hearts

Posted In: Retail Articles

Romance is in the air and more consumers are willing to spend on their passions this Valentine’s Day when holiday-related sales are likely to reach $25.8 billion, on par with the year-earlier occasion and the third-highest spending total on record.

The annual sales forecast emerges from National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics market research, which determined that, in 2024, 53% of consumers plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day, on par with 52% expressing that intention in the year earlier. Among enthusiasts, 62% of consumers ages 25-34 plan to celebrate Valentine’s this year, surpassing any other age group.

The forecast indicates that total spending on significant others will reach a record $14.2 billion. In 2024, consumers are prioritizing gifts for significant others. In 2023, consumers leaned slightly more toward Valentine’s spending across their life relationships, from pets to co-workers.   

The forecast rated top Valentine’s Day gifts as candy, with 57% of consumers intending to purchase, followed by greeting cards at 40%, flowers at 39%, an evening out at 32%, and jewelry at 22%. On average, consumers expect to dish out $185.81 each for Valentine’s, almost $8 more than the average spend over the past five years. 

Online remains the most popular retail channel to shop for Valentine’s gifts at 40%, up from 35% in 2023. One-third of consumers plan to shop at department stores, 31% at discount stores and 17% at florists.

Even among those not celebrating Valentine’s Day, 29% still plan to mark the occasion in some way, with many treating themselves to something special, organizing a get-together or planning an evening out with their single friends or family members.

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

Prosper Insights & Analytics executive vp of strategy Phil Rist added, “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.”

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