NRF: 52% of Shoppers Celebrating Valentine’s Day, Spending a Combined $21.8 Billion

Just over half (52%) of U.S. adults plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year, spending a total of $21.8 billion, according to a survey by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Prosper Insights & Analytics. The holiday may be serving as a form of release for pent-up consumers: nearly three-quarters (73%) of shoppers celebrating Valentine’s Day this year feel it is important to do so given the current state of the pandemic.

However, 74% of those celebrating noted that pandemic will directly impact their Valentine’s Day plans, which has resulted in an average spending drop. Shoppers plan to spend an average of $164.76, down $32 on average per person, compared to a record $196.31 per person spent in 2020. Perhaps unsurprisingly, just 24% of shoppers plan to treat their loved one to an evening out, the lowest ever recorded by the survey.

This may have led to a $13 drop in the average spent on a significant other, the biggest decline of the year. Spending on teachers is down from $14.45 in 2020 to $10.77 this year, while spending on colleagues will fall from $12.96 to $8.47, displaying the impact of social distancing.

Unsurprisingly, ecommerce will be the most popular destination for Valentine’s Day shopping, accounting for 39% of the total. The other top shopping destinations include:


  • Department stores (29%);
  • Discount stores (28%); and
  • A tie between local small businesses and specialty stores (17% each).

“There is no question the pandemic has disrupted many aspects of Americans’ daily interactions and activities,” said Matthew Shay, President and CEO of the NRF in a statement. “However, there remains a special significance around Valentine’s Day, and consumers are committed to celebrating friends and loved ones, even if that means having to alter those traditional holiday celebrations.”

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