WASHINGTON – After a decade-long increase, Valentine’s Day spending is expected to finally see a market correction this year, according to an annual survey by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics. This year, U.S. consumers are expected to spend an average of $136.57, down from the record high of $146.84 in 2016. Total spending is expected to reach $18.2 billion, down from $19.7 billion last year, which was also a record.
“Valentine’s Day continues to be a popular gift-giving occasion, even if consumers are being more frugal this year,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said in a press release. “This is one day of the year when millions find a way to show their loved ones they care regardless of their budget.”
Starting at an average $119.67 for a total of $16.9 billion in 2007, Valentine’s spending grew most years over the past decade before hitting last year’s record. But the number of people surveyed who plan to celebrate the holiday has dropped by nearly 10 percentage points over the same period, from 63% in 2007 to 54% this year.
Meanwhile, 70% of U.S. consumers are planning to give chocolate or candy this Valentine’s Day, sharing with one to three loved ones, according to the National Confectioners Association. In addition, 94% of Americans say they want chocolate and candy for the holiday, making it the most desired gift.
“Candy plays an important role in helping people celebrate special occasions like Valentine’s Day and is enjoyed as a treat year-round,” said John Downs, NCA president and CEO, in a press release. “Consumers understand the unique role that chocolate and candy can play in a happy, balanced lifestyle.”
For reasons why convenience stores should utilize special days, read “Got Holidays?”