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Holiday Spending

Spending Up as Love Sets In

The NRF estimates that just over half of U.S. adults will celebrate Valentine’s Day this year by buying a gift for a significant other, friends, or pets—reaching $19.6 billion in spending, up from $18.2 billion in 2017.

Those 25–34 years-old will be the biggest spenders, with an average bill of $202.76. By product category, a total of $4.7 billion will be spent on jewelry (given by 19%), $3.7 billion on an evening out (35%), $2 billion on flowers (36%), $1.9 billion on clothing (17%), $1.5 billion on gift cards/gift certificates (15%) and $894 million on greeting cards (46%).

Candy is the most popular item this year, with 55% (up from 50% last year) planning to buy for a total of $1.8 billion. Interestingly, experiential gifts such as tickets to a concert or sporting event were sought by 42% of consumers, but only 24% plan to give such a gift—with 25–34 year-olds the most likely to give such a gift (41%).

Consumers plan to shop at department stores (35%), discount stores (32%), online (29%), specialty stores (19%), florists (17%), and local small businesses (14%).

Globally, 20% of consumers plan to buy Valentine’s Day presents in-store, with another 9% (or 31% of expected shoppers), planning to do so online, according to a survey by One Hour Translation across 11 countries. Most consumers do not plan to buy gifts this year at all, with the highest rates of abstention hailing from Brazil (85%), Spain (82%), Australia (81%), Canada (71%), the U.S. (70%), Mexico (66%), Japan (60%), Holland (54%), Germany (45%), Italy (44%), and France (33%).

Among those who plan to buy a gift, the respondents most likely to buy gifts in physical stores hail from Japan (35%), Italy (33%), Holland (30%), Mexico (29%), U.S. and Canada (19% each), France and Spain (13% each), Brazil and Australia (11% each), and Germany (7%). The country with the largest number planning to make a purchase online was Italy (23%), followed by Holland (16%) and the U.S. and Canada (10% each). Surprisingly, the study found that those aged 18–24 years-old were the least likely group to buy gifts online (8.9%), while the highest rate was among 35–44 year-olds (12%).


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