By Ashley Davis
Shoppers are expected to spend $5.8 billion on jewelry this Valentine’s Day. These diamond earrings are from AS29’s new Valentine’s Day-appropriate collection on
New York—The National Retail Federation is bullish on Valentine’s Day 2020.

According to a survey from NRF and Prosper Insights & Analytics, consumers will spend an average of $196.31 on the holiday this year, up 21 percent from last year’s $161.96.

Overall, spending is expected to reach a total of $27.4 billion, a 32 percent hike from last year’s $20.7 billion.

NRF attributed the massive increase to “strong consumer finances.”

Of people surveyed, 55 percent said they would be celebrating the holiday, after last year’s results dipped to 51 percent.

The majority of V-Day spending, 52 percent, is for spouses and significant others just like in years past, though it is worth noting that a decade ago that figure was higher, at 61 percent.

In 2020, the amount of spending allocated to friends, family members, co-workers, children’s classmates and teachers, and pets is up, making up for less significant-other spending.

In 2010, 3 percent of consumer Valentine’s Day spending was allocated to pets, for example.

In 2020, that figure is up to 7 percent, with 27 percent of those surveyed saying they will buy something for their pets for the holiday.

“We’ve always heard of puppy love, but pets are definitely seeing a larger share of Valentine’s Day spending,” said Prosper Insights Executive Vice President of Strategy Phil Rist.

“Husbands and wives don’t need to be worried if their spouses are buying a Valentine’s Day gift for someone else—most likely it’s greeting cards for their children’s class at school, flowers for a family member or maybe a treat for the family dog.”

Overall, the demographic intending to spend the most this holiday is the 35-44 age group—a mix of older millennials and younger Gen Xers—with an average of $358.78.

Across age groups, men are expected to spend more—an average of $291.15, compared to women’s $106.22.

Jewelry is expected to take the lion’s share of total spending, at an estimated $5.8 billion, or 21 percent of total spending.

As far as shopping destinations go, the majority of Valentine’s Day shoppers—36 percent—will visit department stores, 32 percent will shop online, another 32 percent at discount stores, 19 percent at specialty stores, 17 percent at florists, 15 percent at local small businesses, 11 percent at clothing stores and 11 percent at jewelry stores.

The NRF’s cheery Valentine’s Day outlook follows a strong 2019 holiday season, with a 4 percent increase in spending from the year prior.

“Valentine’s Day is a sentimental tradition, but gift-giving can be driven by the economy,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay.

“Consumers spent freely during the 2019 winter holidays and they appear ready to do the same in the new year. The same strong employment numbers and higher wages that boosted holiday sales should make it easier to spend a little extra to say, ‘I love you’ this year and to spread the gift-giving beyond just your significant other.”

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