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Holiday Shopping

Valentine’s Day Goes to the Dogs

This Valentine’s Day, consumers are expected to show less love at retail, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF). Following a decade-long trend of increased retail sales, U.S. consumers are expected to spend an average of $136.57 for a total of $18.2 billion—down from 2016’s record-high of $146.84 and $19.7 billion, respectively. The number of people surveyed who plan to celebrate the holiday has dropped nearly 10 percentage points over the last 10 years—from 63% in 2007 to 54% this year. Consumers plan to spend an average of $85.21 on their partner, $26.59 on other family members, $6.56 on children’s classmates/teachers, $6.51 on friends, $4.27 on co-workers, and $4.44 on pets.

Meanwhile, Wayfair reports that love for pets is on the rise, with 84% of customers shelling out more for pet goods and pet-related merchandise than on Gifts for Him, Gifts for Her, Florals & Décor, or Single-Life Picks – combined. Half (49%) of U.S. shoppers planned to buy a Valentine’s gift for their pets, according to a survey from National Today. Meanwhile, Petcube reports that 54% of pet owners planned to buy a gift. In 2016, the America Pet Products Association estimated that pet owners spent $62.75 billion dollars on their four-legged friends year-round.

Per the NPD survey, consumers planned to spend $4.3 billion on jewelry (19%), $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%). Shoppers are, as always, on the lookout for discounts; most planned to get Valentine’s from department stores (35%), discount stores (32%), online (27%), specialty stores (18%), florists (18%), and local small businesses (15%).

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