This Valentine’s Day, cupids from coast to coast are planning to spend a record $4.8 billion on jewelry — a category that accounts for the biggest slice of the February 14th retail pie, according to a new survey from the National Retail Federation (NRF).
This compares to $2.1 billion they’ll be shelling out for flowers, $1.7 billion for sweets, $3.6 billion for a special meal or movie tickets, $2 billion for clothing and $1.5 billion on gift cards. Total Valentine’s Day purchases are expected to reach $18.9 billion.
More than one in five (21.1%) romantic consumers will delight their significant other by gifting precious jewelry on the most romantic day of the year, although a majority (53.2%) will buy candy, 37.8 percent will opt for flowers and 35.1 percent will plan a special night out. These percentages tally to well over 100 because some Cupids will present multiple gifts.
The average person will spend $142.31 on various gifts this year, up from $133.91 last year.
Men are expected to outspend women by a two-to-one margin, $190.53 compared to $96.58. The highest-spending age group is expected to be 25-to-34 year olds ($213.04), followed by 35-to-44 year olds ($176.21) and 18-to-24 year olds ($168.95).
Nearly every married person in the NRF survey reported that they would be celebrating Valentine’s Day with a gift. Nine out of 10 consumers (91%) expect to spend money on their spouse, with the average individual gift costing $87.94, up from $78.09 in 2014.
Nearly six in 10 said they would purchase Valentine’s Day gifts for other family members, with the average gift costing $26.26.
“It’s encouraging to see consumers showing interest in spending on gifts and Valentine’s Day-related merchandise — a good sign for consumer sentiment as we head into 2015,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay.
The statistics come from the National Retail Federation’s Valentine’s Day Consumer Spending Survey. The poll reflects the expected purchases of 6,375 consumers and was conducted from January 6-13, 2015.