NRF Forecasts Valentine's Day Spending to be Similar to 2009

Posted on February 1, 2010

Candy Heart ClipartAccording to NRF's 2010 Valentine's Day Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, conducted by BIGresearch, couples will spend less money on each other than last year. Last year couples spent an average of $67.22. That amount is forecast to drop nearly 10% to $63.34 this year. The NRF forecasts couples to spend less but individuals will spend a little more overall. The survey predicts the average person will spend $103.00 on Valentine's Day merchandise this year, which is very similar to last year's $102.50. Valentine's Day spending in 2009 - during the middle of the recession - was not very good for retailers. The news that this year won't be better probably isn't what retailers want to hear.

The items people are buying include typical Valentine's Day gifts like flowers, chocolate and cards. Traditional gifts such as greeting cards (54.9%), candy (47.2%) and flowers (35.6%) remain popular choices. Spending on clothing is expected to climb (14.4% vs. 10.2% in 2009) while jewelry spending is expected to fall slightly (15.5% vs. 16.0% last year).

Americans will spend more on friends, co-workers and pets this year. The average person will spend $5.37 on friends, up from $4.74 last year; $4.29 on classmates and teachers, compared to $3.59 last year; and $2.84 on co-workers, slightly up from the $1.94 they spent in 2009. The average person will spend $3.27 on pets this year - a big jump from $2.17 last year. Spending on family members will remain the same ($20.94 vs. $20.95 last year).

Men will spend nearly twice the amount women spend on the holiday. The average man plans to shell out $135.35 to impress the people in his life while women only expect to spend $72.28. Men spending a lot more than women is typical for Valentine's Day.