Retailers expect plenty of love on Valentine’s Day

valentine's day (Large)
The expected spend tops $27 billion.

Whether consumers dole out those chalky candy hearts to their loved ones, pick up flowers for their crush or bask in their singlehood with a night on the town, one thing’s certain: retailers make bank on Valentine’s Day.

A new survey touted by the Florida Retail Federation predicts Americans will spend upward of $27.4 billion celebrating the holiday — nearly a third more than last year’s record $20.7 billion.

“Florida retailers can expect a steady influx of shoppers this month due to strong consumer finances,” FRF President and CEO Scott Shalley said.

“The spirit of the holiday is in the air at many Florida retailers, including department stores, specialty stores, florists and bakeries. Just make sure you don’t forget to get that special something for your special someone.”

The survey found that the average celebrant will spend $196.31 on their Valentine, a 21% increase over last year.

The most popular gift category is candy, which 52% of shoppers say they’ll buy ahead of Feb. 14, followed by greeting cards at 43%. Flowers and a night on the town are in the cards for more than a third of respondents, while about a fifth of those polled say they’ll pick up something sparkly for their special someone.

Broken down by age, 35- to 44-year-olds are expected to be the big spenders. They’ll average $358.78 at the register. The 18- to 24-year old crowd is at the bottom end, spending $109.31 a pop.

One comparison that is fairly consistent year to year is the difference in spending among genders. The survey shows that men plan to spend more on average — $291.15 compared to $106.22 for the average woman.

Also of note: More than a quarter of shoppers plan to purchase a Valentine’s Day gift for their pet, the highest figure in the history of the survey.

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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