Valentine’s Day 2018 is set to be a major treat for significant others and retailers alike on Wednesday, with Americans projected to spend a near-record amount on gifts, according to a survey conducted by the National Retail Federation.
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The average U.S. consumer will spend $143.56 on Valentine’s Day items like jewelry, flowers, candy and dinner, for a total estimated spending haul of $19.6 billion. Those figures surpassed estimated spending last year, when shoppers forked over $18.2 billion for the romantic holiday, and amounted to the second-highest total in the last 15 years, according to the industry trade group.
“Americans are looking forward to pampering and indulging their loved ones with flowers, candy, dinner and all of the other Valentine’s Day stops,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said in a statement. “With the holidays behind them and the winter months dragging along, consumers are looking for something to celebrate this time of year.”
Jewelry is expected to be the most lucrative source of Valentine’s Day spending this year, with an estimated $4.7 billion in sales. Spending on food and entertainment options for a night out on the town are projected at $3.7 billion, followed by flowers ($2 billion), clothing ($1.9 billion) and candy ($1.8 billion).
The average American celebrating Valentine’s Day plans to spend $88.98 on gifts and treats for their spouse or significant other, $25.29 on other family members like parents or children and $4.79 on coworkers. Millennials aged 25-34 are projected to spend more than any other age bracket, with an average bill of $202.76.
“Valentine’s Day has become a holiday consumers take advantage of not only to spoil their loved ones but themselves,” Prosper Executive Vice President of Strategy Phil Rist said. “Shoppers should look out for deals on everything from candy to date-night dinner packages in the coming days, leaving plenty of options for those looking to make the occasion truly special.”
More than half of U.S. consumers, or 55%, plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day in some way this year. The survey, conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, asked questions of 7,277 Americans.