Jan 31, 2019
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Jewelry to lead record spending for Valentine's Day 2019

Jan 31, 2019

Although the number of US consumers planning to celebrate Valentine’s Day continues to decline, spending for the holiday is expected to reach record levels this year according to a National Retail Federation (NRF) study, with jewelry accounting for the biggest spend.

Although jewelry is expected to account for the biggest spend on Valentine's Day, only 9% of survey respondents said they would be visiting a specialty jewelry store such as Tiffany - Instagram: @tiffanyandco

Only 51% of those who participated in the annual Valentine’s Day survey conducted by the NRF and Prosper Insights & Analytics said they would be celebrating the holiday this year, declining from 55% in 2018 and continuing a general downward trend seen over the last few years.

Those who are taking part, however, stated that they would be spending more than ever. On average, survey respondents said that they planned to spend $161.96 on Valentine’s Day, a 13% increase from 2018’s $143.56, which also tops 2016’s record of $146.84.

Total spending on the holiday is therefore expected to hit $20.7 billion, up 6% compared to last year and a significant rise when compared to 2016’s record total of $19.7 billion.
The biggest total spend is expected to be on jewelry at $3.9 billion, despite the fact that only 18% of survey respondents taking part in Valentine’s Day said they would be making a purchase in the category. In second place in terms of spending, 34% of respondents were planning to spend money on an evening out, making for a total predicted spend of 3.5 billion, while clothing rounds out the top three with an expected total spend of $2.1 billion.
Interestingly, even though they may not be celebrating Valentine’s Day with others, 11% of survey respondents said they were planning on treating themselves for the holiday, mainly by purchasing clothing or jewelry.
Perhaps surprisingly, given these figures, jewelers and specialty clothing stores are not high on the list of store choices for Valentine’s Day shoppers, with only 9% saying they planned to visit these retail destinations.
Ultimately, these specialized retailers seem to have lost out to competitors with wider offerings, such as department stores – mentioned by 32% of shoppers, discount stores (32%) and e-commerce platforms (27%).
As usual, men are predicted to be the biggest spenders this Valentine’s Day, spending an average of $229.54, a figure which is 20% higher than 2018 and more than double women’s predicted average spend of $97.77 for this year.
The biggest average spend is expected to be on gifts and experiences for partners ($93.24) but shoppers will also be looking to spoil family members ($29.87), friends ($9.78), children’s classmates and teachers ($8.63), co-workers ($7.78) and even pets ($6.94).
“The vast majority of Valentine’s Day dollars are still spent on significant others, but there’s a big increase this year in consumers spreading the love to children, parents, friends and coworkers,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay in a release. “Those who are participating are spending more than ever and that could be the result of the strong economy.”

The NRF’s Valentine’s Day shopping report surveyed 7,384 adults from January 2 through 9.

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