Valentine’s Day (Spending) is for Lovers in 2024

Valentine’s Day is around the corner, and despite tight budgets, Americans are overwhelmingly excited to celebrate love in 2024, with their significant other that is. After celebrating all kinds of love and relationships in 2023, consumers are reigning in their Valentine’s Day spending by prioritizing gifts for their romantic partner above non-romantic relationships in their lives such as pets, friends and coworkers. 

More than half of Americans are expected to participate in Valentine’s Day in some capacity in 2024, spending a record high – nearly $26 billion to treat their loved ones to something special this year, compared to spending roughly $24 billion in 2022, according to the annual Valentine’s Day survey by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics. 

Of the 53 percent of Americans who plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day in 2024, it’s expected they will each spend around $185.81, nearly $8 more than the average Valentine’s Day spending over the last five years.

“Valentine’s Day is a special occasion to shop for the people we care most about,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “With consumers prioritizing their spouse or significant other this year, retailers expect to see a shift in spending for certain gifting categories.”

Although the average consumer is expected to spend nearly $186 on Valentine’s Day, 62 percent of those aged 25 to 34 are planning to celebrate love and romance, more than any other age group, which means this group is also expected to spend more than others too on Valentine’s Day items.

The top Valentine’s Day gifts in 2024 include: 

  1. Candy (57 percent)

  2. Greeting cards (40 percent)

  3. Flowers (39 percent)

  4. An evening out (32 percent)

  5. Jewelry (22 percent)

  6. Clothing (21 percent)

  7. Gift cards (19 percent) 

14 Cheap Valentine’s Day Ideas When on a Budget

Although jewelry isn’t top of the list this Valentine’s Day, jewelry sales are expected to exceed $6.4 billion this Valentine’s Day, a record-high. Other categories where we expect to see record spending?

  • Flowers | $2.6 billion
  • Clothing | $3 billion
  • Evening out | $4.9 billion

Although the cost of a night out may be more than candy, greeting cards, and even flowers combined, more and more consumers are flocking toward gifts of experience this Valentine’s Day. About one-third of consumers plan to give a gift of experience in 2024, almost identical to 2023, which was up from 26 percent last year and the highest since NRF and Prosper started asking this question in 2017.

“While shoppers may be spending the most on jewelry, overall, the most popular gifts are the classics – candy and greeting cards,” Prosper Insights & Analytics Executive Vice President of Strategy Phil Rist said. “We’re also seeing continued interest in gifts of experience with about one-third of consumers planning to give a gift of experience this year.”

Even among those who don’t plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day, 29 percent reported they will still mark the special occasion in some way, seeking non-Valentine’s gifts, treating themselves to something special, or planning a get-together or evening out with single friends and family members. 

Looking for budget-friendly Valentine’s Day ideas? Check out our blog: 14 Cheap Valentine’s Day Ideas When on a Budget

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