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NRF: Shoppers Are Spending for Valentine’s Day and Super Bowl Despite Pandemic Pressures

Valentine’s Day and the Super Bowl will provide a one-two punch of sales opportunities this year. Valentine’s Day spending is expected to reach $23.9 billion this year. That would make it the second-highest year on record and an increase over the $21.8 billion spent in 2021, according to NRF. Super Bowl LVI, with the L.A. Rams facing off against the Cincinnati Bengals on Feb. 13, will add another $14.6 billion as 72% of U.S. consumers tune in to the big game.

A total of 53% of U.S. consumers plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day in 2022, up from 52% in 2021. The average shopper will spend $175.41 on gifts. Not all of that spending will go to product purchases at retail — 41% of survey respondents said they would “love to receive the gift of experiences,” up from 36% in 2021. This growth may be driven by the 76% of shoppers who indicated that celebrating Valentine’s Day is important given the current state of the pandemic,

Still, jewelry retailers can expect a $6.2 billion boost in sales as many shoppers buy their significant other something special, up from $4.1 billion in 2021 and the highest in the survey’s history. Candy (56%), greeting cards (40%) and flowers (37%) also will be popular items with many shoppers. Ecommerce shops will be the most popular destination, visited by 41% of shoppers, followed by department stores (32%), discount stores (28%), small businesses (18%) and florists (17%).

“Following the historic level of consumer spending over the winter holidays, it appears that the trend will continue into 2022,” said Matthew Shay, President and CEO of NRF in a statement. “Valentine’s Day is a special occasion for many Americans, even more so as we navigate out of the pandemic, and retailers are prepared to help them mark the holiday in a memorable and meaningful way.”

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Snacks Dominate Super Bowl Spending

Perhaps unsurprisingly, food and beverages will be by far the most popular Super Bowl purchase categories. More than three-quarters (79%) of shoppers will grab snacks and drinks for the game, while 11% will spend on team apparel, 9% will pick up new TVs, 8% will purchase decorations and 5% will look for new furniture.

Notably, the pandemic is still weighing on Super Bowl plans. Just 15% of shoppers will throw their own party and 20% will attend someone else’s party, with another 5% planning to catch the big game at a bar or restaurant. A full 60% of shoppers have no plans to travel to watch the game.

Whether you’re watching alone or with friends, Super Bowl isn’t just about football. The game itself is the main attraction for just 40% of viewers, while another 18% are tuning in for the halftime show, and 21% find the commercials to be the most important part. Check out Retail TouchPoints’ upcoming Feb. 14 feature for a roundup of the most effective and interesting Super Bowl commercials.

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