Christian Retailing

NRF: Shoppers’ Valentine’s Day budgets expected to be ‘frugal’ Print Email
Written by Jeremy Burns   
Thursday, 06 February 2014 11:09 AM America/New_York

ScriptureCandy-ValentinesChocolates-webOn the heels of a healthy yet modest holiday shopping season, cautious consumers aren’t quite ready to splurge on Valentine’s Day this year, as they continue to keep their budgets in check. According to the National Retail Federation’s 2014 Valentine’s Day spending survey conducted by Prosper Insights and Analytics, 54% of Americans will celebrate with their loved ones this year, compared to 60% in 2013.

The average person plans to spend $133.91 on candy, cards, gifts, dinner and more, up slightly from $130.97 last year. Total spending is expected to reach $17.3 billion.

“Valentine’s Day will continue to be a popular gift-giving event, even when consumers are frugal with their budgets,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “Consumers can expect Cupid’s holiday to resemble the promotional holiday season we saw just a few months ago, as retailers recognize that their customers are still looking for the biggest bang for their buck.”

Nearly half of gift-givers (48.7%) will buy candy, a third will give flowers (37.3%) and more than half (51.2%) will send greeting cards. Nearly one-fifth (19%) will purchase jewelry—the sales of which are expected to total $3.9 billion—while 37% will celebrate with an evening out, spending an estimated total of $3.5 billion. Others will give more practical gifts like clothing (15.8%) or gift cards (14%), so their loved ones can have that item they’ve been eyeing in store.

Men will spend $108.38 on gifts—twice as much as women who will spend $49.41. Shoppers also will celebrate the holiday by showing appreciation for family members (59.4%), friends (21.7%), teachers (20.4%) and colleagues (12.1%). In addition, nearly one in five (19.4%) will buy gifts for pets, spending an average of $5.51.

“While fewer are planning to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year, millions of shoppers will still make room in their discretionary budgets to send cards and gifts to loved ones or enjoy a special evening out,” said Prosper Insights and Analytics Director Pam Goodfellow. “Consumers can expect promotions on everything from flowers to date night dinner packages in the coming days, leaving plenty of ideas for those looking to spoil their Valentines.”

Cautious consumers do their research when it comes to shopping, and many will purchase gifts online. The survey found that 26.1% plan to shop online this Valentine’s Day, flat with last year’s 26.3%. Many will turn to their tablets or smartphones before making their final gift decisions, with 24% researching products or compare prices on their smartphones and 32.2% doing so on their tablets.