American shoppers are expected to spend $18.2 billion on Valentine’s Day this year, down from a record $19.7 billion in 2016, according to the National Retail Federation.
Shoppers are expected to spend an average of $136.57 on Valentine’s Day items, down from last year’s record-high of $146.84.
“Valentine’s Day continues to be a popular gift-giving occasion even if consumers are being more frugal this year,” said Matthew Shay, the federation’s President and CEO. “This is one day of the year when millions find a way to show their loved ones they care regardless of their budget. Consumers will find that retailers recognize that their customers are looking for the best deals and will offer good bargains just as they did during the holiday season.”
Although Valentine’s Day spending has steadily climbed over the past decade, the federation said its annual Valentine’s Day spending survey found the number of people who plan to celebrate the holiday has dropped by nearly 10 percentage points over the same period.
This year’s survey found consumers plan to spend an average $85.21 on their significant other or spouse; $26.59 on other family members such as children or parents; $6.56 on children’s classmates and teachers; $6.51 on friends; $4.27 on co-workers; and $4.44 on pets.
Experienced-based gifts such as tickets to a concert or sporting event, a gym membership or an outdoor adventure, are popular this year, the federation said. Roughly 40 percent of shoppers want an experience gift, but only about 24 percent plan to give one, the survey found.