Washington, D.C. Consumers plan to spend an average $102.50 on Valentineâ€™s gifts and merchandise, down from $122.98 per person last year, according to The National Retail Federationâ€™s 2009 Valentineâ€™s Day Consumer Intentions and Actions survey, conducted by BIGresearch. Total Valentineâ€™s Day spending is expected to reach $14.7 billion.
Most people still plan to buy the traditional favorites even though they plan to spend less. Over one-third (35.7%) of people will buy flowers, nearly the same as last yearâ€™s 35.9%, and 16.0% will buy jewelry, compared to 16.6% in 2008. More people plan to send greeting cards this year than they did last year (58.0% vs. 56.8% in 2008). Others will head to their favorite restaurant (47.0%), purchase clothing (10.2%) or a buy gift cards/gift certificates (11.0%).
â€śA bad economy wonâ€™t stop Cupid this Valentineâ€™s Day, but it might slow him down,â€ť said NRF president and CEO Tracy Mullin. â€śThis year more than ever, consumers will look for creative and inexpensive ways to show those they love how much they mean to them.â€ť
The majority of people (90.8%) will spend the most on their spouse ($67.22), with other family members, such as children, getting about one-fifth of their budget ($20.95). Consumers will also spend on friends ($4.74), childrenâ€™s classmates/teachers ($3.59), co-workers ($1.94) and pets ($2.17).
The report said that the 35-to-44 year old age group will spend the most this year. The average person plans to shell out $119.19. Young adults 18 to 24 will be the second-biggest spenders at an average of $113.68 per person, followed by 45 to 54 year olds ($108.82), 25 to 34 year olds ($105.59), and 55 to 64 year olds ($83.76).