Valentine's Day spend predicted to grow in US

By Katie Bird

- Last updated on GMT

US Consumers will be spending a total of $17.02 bn on Valentine's
Day this year according to the National Retail Federation, an
increasing figure despite the current economic climate.

According to the research conducted by BIGresearch the average consumer plans to spend $122.98 on Valentine's Day, a slight increase on last year's $119.67. Spending on the holiday has been increasing steadily since 2003, when the average consumer spent $80.44 on Valentine related gifts and celebrations. Although 2007 - 2008 growth is not predicted to be as significant as the increase in spending from 2006 - 2007, it is still an increase; a prediction that is somewhat surprising in light of the current economic climate in the US. Adults aged 25 - 34 are predicted to spend the most with an average spend of $160.37, closely followed by 18 - 24 year olds who are predicted to spend an average of $145.59. Furthermore men are predicted to spend more than women, with an average spend of $163.37, compared to a predicted average of $84.72 for women. Traditional gifts will see a slight decrease in popularity this year with more consumers preferring experience gifts, said the market research company. "Consumers are expected to invest time and money on gifts of experience this year, in addition to staple Valentine's Day gifts,"​ said Phil Rist from BIGresearch. Gifts of experience would include activity days, mini breaks, meals out or spa retreats. Interestingly, internet based gift experience retailer Excitations combine both traditional gifts such as fragrance with the trend for more innovative gift ideas. One of the gifts offered to consumers is a visit to an apothecary where individuals can create lotions, creams and balms from simple ingredients and essential oils. The company also offers consumers the possibility to create their own signatory fragrance instead of purchasing an off-the-shelf scent, along with the more established experience gifts such as flying lessons or kayaking weekends. For fragrance manufacturers the period around Valentine's Day is, along with Christmas, one of the most profitable times of the year. After a somewhat disappointing festive period, manufacturers are likely to be looking to the romantic period as a way to boost the year's sales figures. The National Retail Federation estimated that retail spend in the US grew by 4 per cent in the November - December period, the slowest growth rate in five years - while the International Council of Shopping Centers predicted sales growth for the period of 2.5 per cent or less.

Related topics: Business & Financial

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