Washington, D.C. Couples this year plan to spend less on each other but more on their family, friends, co-workers and even their pets, according to NRF’s 2010 Valentine’s Day Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, conducted by BIGresearch.
The survey found that couples will spend an average of $63.34 on gifts for their significant other or spouse, compared with $67.22 last year. The average person will shell out $103 on traditional Valentine’s Day merchandise this year, similar to last year’s $102.50. Total holiday spending is expected to reach $14.1 billion.
The average person will spend $5.37 on friends, up from $4.74 last year; $4.29 on classmates and teachers, compared with $3.59 last year; and $2.84 on co-workers, slightly up from the $1.94 they spent in 2009. Family pets will also feel the love this year with the average person spending $3.27 on their furry friends, up from $2.17 last year. Spending on family members will remain the same ($20.94 versus $20.95 last year).
As in previous years, men will spend nearly twice the amount women spend on the holiday. The average man plans to shell out $135.35 to impress the people in his life, while women only expect to spend $72.28.
Personal and practical gifts will resonate with celebrants again this year as more people will look to sweaters, winter accessories and other clothing options (14.4% versus 10.2% in 2009) in place of jewelry (15.5% versus 16.0% last year) or an evening out (35.6% versus 47.0% in 2009.) Traditional gifts such as greeting cards (54.9%), candy (47.2%) and flowers (35.6%) remain popular choices.
“The economy has forced consumers to rethink their gift giving practices,” said Phil Rist, executive VP, strategic initiatives, BIGresearch. “Personal and unique gifts will speak volumes this Valentine's Day as consumers dig deep into their hearts and not their wallets."
When it comes to where people will shop, most will head to discount stores (40.9%), though department stores (31.1%) and specialty stores such as florists, electronics stores and greeting cards and gift stores (21.4%) will also see a share of holiday foot traffic.