Editor’s Note: Due to an editing error, we incorrectly reported on the National Retail Federation’s projected Valentine’s Day spending earlier this week. We apologize. The good news: The updated and correct information points to increased, not decreased, spending.
U.S. consumers are expected to spend an average $143.56 on Valentine’s Day as 55 percent of the population celebrates this year, an increase from last year’s $136.57, according to the annual survey released this week by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics. Total spending is expected to reach $19.6 billion, up from $18.2 billion last year.
The numbers are the second-highest in the survey’s 15-year history, topped only by the record $146.84 and $19.7 billion seen in 2016.
“Americans are looking forward to pampering and indulging their loved ones with flowers, candy, dinner and all of the other Valentine’s Day stops,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “With the holidays behind them and the winter months dragging along, consumers are looking for something to celebrate this time of year.”
This year’s survey found consumers plan to spend an average $88.98 on their significant other/spouse ($12.1 billion), $25.29 on other family members such as children or parents ($3.5 billion), $7.26 on children’s classmates/teachers ($991 million), $7.19 on friends ($982 million), $5.50 on pets ($751 million) and $4.79 on co-workers ($654 million). Those 25-34 will be the biggest spenders at an average of $202.76.
Those celebrating Valentine’s Day plan to spend $2 billion on flowers.
“Gifts of experience” such as tickets to a concert or sporting event continue to be popular, sought by 42 percent of consumers, but only 24 percent plan to give one. Those 25-34 are the most likely to give such a gift at 41 percent.
Much the same as last year, consumers plan to shop at department stores (35 percent), discount stores (32 percent), online (29 percent), specialty stores (19 percent), florists (17 percent), and local small businesses (14 percent).
Historically, Wednesday holidays create strong showings for the floral industry, with less competition from weekend getaways and a clear opportunity to wow a sweetheart at the office with flowers.
In a separate report, industry analyst Prince & Prince is forecasting that 44 million U.S. households will make floral purchases for Valentine’s Day 2018.
The group predicts consumer floral aggregate spending for Valentine’s Day 2018 to be $3.4 billion dollars at retail, including all fresh floral products (fresh cut flowers, including roses, arrangements, bouquets, bunches, single stems, and corsages, and indoor potted flowering and foliage plants & planters) and delivery/service fees.
“This projected market value for Valentine’s Day 2018 is about $106 million more than P&P’s 2017 Valentine’s Day market projection,” according to the group.
Prince & Prince also project that each floral-purchasing household will spend on average around $77 on floral products for Valentine’s Day. (That number includes delivery/service fees.)
According to a recent Society of American Florists’ survey, about 67 percent of florists predict an increase in Valentine’s Day sales this year, compared to last year, when sweethearts celebrated on a Tuesday. Thirty percent of respondents expect 2018 returns to be about on par with those in 2017.
SAF has resources galore for members who want to stand out on Valentine’s Day, including social media graphics, tips and advice from veteran florists, best practices on media interviews and more.