Valentine’s Day Spending Expected to Reach $26 Billion

Consumers are increasing their spend on the romantic holiday this year.

January 26, 2023

WASHINGTON—More than half (52%) of consumers plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year. Total consumer spending is expected to reach $25.9 billion, up from $23.9 billion in 2022, one of the highest spending years on record, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Prosper Insights & Analytics.

Consumers will spend an average of $192.80, up from $175.41 in 2022, and the second-highest amount since NRF and Prosper started tracking Valentine’s Day spending in 2004. While spending on significant others and family members is in line with last year, an increasing number of consumers plan to spend on other people. Of the $17 increase in per-person spending, $14 comes from gifts for pets, friends and co-workers, along with classmates or teachers.

Those aged 35 to 44 will spend the most, allocating $335.71 on average for gifts and other Valentine’s Day items, about $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 Executive Vice President 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.

Convenience retailers can find tips for seasonal merchandising in “A Festive Look” in the September 2022 issue of NACS Magazine.