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Valentine’s Day To Bring Shoppers Back As Omicron Subsides

Americans To Spend $23.9 Billion This Year, Trade Group Says — the Second-Highest Total on Record

Photo Courtesy of karandaev.

Valentine’s Day spending is projected to reach $23.9 billion this year, up from $21.8 billion in 2021, marking the second-highest year on record, according to the annual survey released by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics.

Retailers love Valentine’s Day as it is the first celebration of the year to bring significant numbers of consumers back into brick-and-mortar stores. But owners may not swoon over the growing preference for online shopping found in the survey.

This year’s outlook is particularly positive for restaurants and entertainment venues. With the omicron variant of COVID-19 subsiding across many areas of the country, 31% of respondents said they plan to gift an evening out this year, up from 24% last year and just slightly below pre-pandemic levels, for a total of $4.3 billion.

“Valentine’s Day is a special occasion for many Americans, even more so as we navigate out of the pandemic,” Matthew Shay, NRF’s president and CEO, said in a statement releasing the survey results.

The internet is expected to be the most popular Valentine’s Day shopping destination this year, according to 41% of the survey’s respondents. Thirty-two percent of consumers plan to shop at department stores, followed by 28% at discount stores, 18% at local small businesses and 17% at florists.

Candy remains the most popular gift item, with 56% of respondents looking to buy sweets. Greeting cards, at 40%, and flowers, at 37%, came next.

Twenty-two percent of shoppers will opt to buy jewelry for a special someone. Total spending on jewelry is estimated at $6.2 billion, up from $4.1 billion in 2021 and the highest in the survey’s history.



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