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Valentine’s Day Consumer Spending Loses Some Love

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After more than 10 years of robust growth Valentine’s Day spending is expected to hit the brakes, driven presumably by the rapidly emerging global uncertainty. 

According to research by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics, U.S. consumers are expected to spend an average $136.57, down from last year’s record-high $146.84. Total spending is expected to reach $18.2 billion, down from $19.7 billion last year, which was also a record.

This year’s survey found consumers plan to spend an average $85.21 on their significant other/spouse, $26.59 on other family members such as children or parents, $6.56 on children’s classmates/teachers, $6.51 on friends, $4.27 on co-workers, and $4.44 on pets.

Consumers plan to spend $4.3 billion on jewelry (given by 19% of shoppers), $3.8 billion on an evening out (37%), $2 billion on flowers (35%), $1.9 billion on clothing (19%), $1.7 billion on candy (50%), $1.4 billion on gift cards/gift certificates (16%) and $1 billion on greeting cards (47%).

Also popular this year are “gifts of experience” such as tickets to a concert or sporting event, a gym membership or an outdoor adventure. While 40% of consumers want an experience gift, only 24% plan to give one.

Consumers plan to shop at department stores (35%), discount stores (32%), online (27%), specialty stores (18%), florists (18%), and local small businesses (15%).

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