Valentine’s Day this year will mean fewer nights out, more online gift purchases and less spending overall than last year, according to an annual survey from the National Retail Federation, or NRF.
About 52% of respondents to the retail industry group’s survey said they are planning to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year, down from 55% last year.
The survey revealed that U.S. consumers plan to spend $21.8 billion in total on the holiday. That’s roughly $165 per person celebrating, which is 16% less than last year’s average of about $196.
The pandemic has changed the way that consumers intend to spend the holiday. According to the NRF survey, only 24% of respondents plan a night out, which is the lowest in the survey’s history. Even though people are less likely to go out due to the pandemic, 41% of respondents said they will still have special celebrations at home.
Additionally, consumers are more likely to buy gifts online this year. Approximately 39% of survey respondents plan to purchase gifts online, which is the highest in the survey’s history. Around 20% would like to purchase gifts from a local or small business, which is another new trend shown in the survey. With fewer in-person classes and work activities, people are less likely to spend money on gifts for classmates, teachers, and co-workers compared to previous years.
The survey shows that respondents from 18 to 24 years old are less likely to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year. Only 52% of them plan to mark the occasion, compared to 58% last year. Even though respondents aged 18-24 are less likely to celebrate the festival, that was the only age group planning to spend more on Valentine’s Day, up to an average of $184 this year from $109 last year.