NRF: Valentine’s Day sales will not be as sweet for first time in decade


WASHINGTON, D.C. — Valentine’s Day 2017 will not be as sweet for retailers. U.S. consumers are expected to spend an average of $136.57 this year, compared to last year’s record high of $146.84, according to a survey released by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics. This would be the first such decline on Valentine’s Day spending in a decade.

Total U.S. spending for Feb. 14 is also expected to drop from last year’s record of $19.7 billion to $18.2 billion this year.

“Valentine’s Day continues to be a popular gift-giving occasion even if consumers are being more frugal this year,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “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.”

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

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

The survey, which asked 7,591 consumers about their Valentine’s Day plans, was conducted January 4-11 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.1 percentage points. 

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