Valentine’s Day Spend Expected To Break Records
by Sarah Mahoney, 7 hours ago
Maybe America has been depriving itself of conversation hearts and bling long enough. A new study from the National Retail Federation reports that people plan to go a little crazy in the Land of Love this year, spending $17.6 billion, the highest in the decade it has been conducting the survey. The average person celebrating with Cupid plans to plunk down $126.03, up 8.5% from last year’s $116.21.
As usual, men plan to spend more than women: The typical guy is likely to spend $168.74 on clothing, jewelry, candy and greeting cards. Women are expected to spend an average of $85.76. And men and women who have a ball and chain (um, significant other) plan to spend $74.12 on their spouse or significant other, up from $68.98 last year. Jewelry is definitely high on the list, with 18.9% planning a glittery purchase, up from 17.3% and the highest percent in the survey’s history. (Total spending on jewelry is expected to reach $4.1 billion, up from $3.5 billion last year.) The NRF’s survey, conducted by BIGInsight, includes some 9,300 adults.
In some cases, the jewelry spending will be major: While Valentine’s Day is always among the most popular days to get engaged, a new survey from Sears reports that 40% of the unmarried couples it surveyed plan to get engaged on Feb. 14.)
But the most common way to celebrate, however, continues to be through greeting cards, with 52% planning to buy a Valentine. (Some 60% of women will, compared with 44% of men.)
Not surprisingly, card purchase is much lower among the 18-24 set, which spurns the holiday’s traditional Hubba-Hubba candy hearts and paper-doily cards. Card marketers are increasingly targeting younger buyers with elaborate card apps, such as justWink from American Greetings, which allows users to personalize electronic V-day cards with photos from their phone, and even sign it with their finger. (Videos express the language of love in such Gen Y terms as “Sweaty Beaver,” “Uniporn,” and “Ralphing Rainbows.”) For $2.99, users of the app can turn the e-card into a printed one, and have it mailed to a friend.