Retailers expect to get plenty of love on Valentine’s Day

valentine's day (Large)

A National Retail Federation survey estimates consumers will spend $19.6 billion pampering their loved ones with Valentine’s Day gifts this year, putting it just a hair behind the all-time record of $19.7 billion set in 2016.

The 2018 forecast estimates 55 percent of Americans will shell out some cash on gifts this year, with the average paramore spending $143.56. An increase of nearly seven bucks over last year.

“Florida families are looking forward to showering their loved ones with flowers, candy, and fancy dinners this year, with a near record per person spending average of $143,” said FRF President and CEO R. Scott Shalley. “We anticipate this being a very prosperous year for retailers focused on Valentine’s Day, as consumers are feeling more confident about their financial situation and willing to spend more to celebrate.”

The bulk of spending, about $89 a person, will be spent on the leading man or woman in consumers’ lives, while the rest of their will be divvied up between parents, kids and, of course, their little one’s classmates and teachers.

Millennials may have a reputation for being jaded when it comes to Valentine’s Day, but they’re predicted to lead all age groups with an average spend of $202.76.

By far the most common purchases will be candy, with 55 percent saying they’ll indulge their sweet tooth, followed by 46 percent who plan to pick up some greeting cards. The tried and true duo will account for nearly $2.7 billion.

More than a third of those polled planed to play it safe by picking up some flowers and taking their special someone out to dinner. Those two standards make up $5.7 billion of the projected haul.

Just under a fifth of celebrators plan on making a major statement by picking up a combined $4.7 billion in jewelry, while 17 percent said they’d pick up some clothes, which will account for nearly 10 percent of total spending.

Here’s hoping they get they’ve got a handle on sizes, styles and the four Cs, else they might as well join the 15 percent of shoppers who’re set to spend $1.9 billion buying the most romantic of presents: gift cards.

Drew Wilson

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for Florida Politics. He is a former editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and business correspondent at The Hollywood Reporter. Wilson, a University of Florida alumnus, covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools and The Florida Current prior to joining Florida Politics.


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