Valentine’s Day Consumer Spending Trends and Statistics

Almost everyone loves Valentine’s Day. It is the one day of the year when lovers can express their feelings for each other through the exchanging of gifts and enjoying spending quality time together. No one loves February 14 th as much as retailers however, because it is one of the most lucrative days of the year. When a person wants to show their ‘special someone’ just how much they love and appreciate them some serious money gets spent, and retailers are only too happy to add it to their takings.

Facts and Figures Regarding Sales & Marketing For The Most Romantic Day Of The Year

Valentine's Day gifts
Total Spending – Almost $20 billion was spent on Valentine’s Day gifts and experiences in 2016 and was actually a record high. That equates to $146.84 per person. Spending has been steadily increasing for the past 10 years; however, even though the figures for 2017 have yet to be released it was expected to be a little bit lower than that of 2016.

Top Selling Gifts – The three traditional gifts of candy, greeting cards, and flowers still topped the sales in 2016. Of the almost $20 billion spent here is a breakdown of the items most of the money was spent on:

  • Greeting cards 52.1%
  • Candy 47.5%
  • Dining 34.6%
  • Flowers 34.3%
  • Jewelry 17.3%
  • Clothing 14.4%

With chocolate being a top seller it may come as no surprise that it amounts to approximately 58 million pounds of the sweet confectionary that is purchased in the week leading up to Valentine’s Day.

Not Just for Lovers – Though the largest buyers of romantic gifts is spouses there is a growing trend for people to give gifts to other family members, friends, and even work colleagues. Parents may receive gifts from their children, and school-aged children are opting to show their appreciation of their teachers by giving simple Valentine’s Day gifts on February 14 th , as well as exchanging gifts with other classmates. Pets are not excluded from receiving gifts on this special day of romance either, though the average amount per pet is very modest at a little over $5.

Popular Shops – Department stores are still the main ‘go to’ places for Valentine’s Day gifts but are only just ahead of discount stores. As one would expect online stores are grabbing their share of the V-Day spending and this is likely to increase over coming years as the national trend towards online purchasing increases. Local florists are still assured of their share as this is one of the items difficult to buy online.

Romantic Valentine's Day Gift
Trending – Less people indicated planning Valentine’s Day celebrations in 2017 than in past years. Despite this trend it is also one of the days of the year when people dig deep in their wallets regardless of their financial status at the time. Fortunately for those with budget constraints many retailers offer great discounts on romantic gifts so savvy buyers can still spoil their loved ones without killing their bank accounts. A growing number of people would prefer to receive a ‘gift of experience’ rather than a material gift which is in line with the growing trend towards minimalism. Should this trend continue this may cause some concern to retailers but restaurants, hotels, amusements parks, and others may see an increase in their takings for February 14 th celebrations.

Impact on Retailers – For many retailers Valentine’s Day is vital to their bottom line. Those who sell candy and other romantic gifts will traditionally see a large upswing in sales figures in the week leading up to February 14 th . Florists will have orders pouring in prior to the day and will be kept busy fulfilling them on Valentine’s Day and the day before. There is always a need for florists to have extra flowers on hand for those last minute demands for bouquets, with red roses being a huge seller. Greeting cards are also a big seller, from the most simple to elaborate all being sold prior to the day. Jewelry stores also benefit from the day of romance, with heart shaped items being particularly popular, and diamonds being the gem of choice.

Future Predictions – With only a little over 50% of Americans celebrating Valentine’s Day it seems that there are plenty of people that retailers are not reaching with their advertising. That being said for those that do spend the amount is still pleasing even if it had dropped slightly from 2016.


As the trend towards minimalism grows it may become increasingly difficult for retailers to cash in on the romanticism of the day that has people spending on gifts. Florists, candy sellers and greeting card companies will still remain the big winners when it comes to Valentine’s Day, as will restaurants that provide a romantic atmosphere, great food and a good selection of wines.