NRF Survey: Valentine’s Day Dip; However, More Local and Small Business Support|2021

About half of U.S. adults plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year, spending a total of $21.8 billion, according to an annual survey released yesterday (January 28, 2021) by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics.

Overall. sales will dip an average of $32 per Valentine’s Day participant.

$196.31 | Last year’s average spend for Valentine’s Day
$164.76 | This year’s average spend for Valentine’s Day

$32 | The drop-off of $32 this year is blamed on the pandemic and related economic crunch.


“There is no question the pandemic has disrupted many aspects of Americans’ daily interactions and activities,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “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,” he said.


Survey highlight | This year is the first time consumers listed small businesses as a top-five shopping destination since the question was added to the survey in 2015.


$10.77 | Average spent by parents on items for children’s classmates and teachers, down from $14.45 last year.

$8.47 | Consumers plan to spend an average of $8.47 on colleagues, down from $12.96 in 2020.

74% | Percentage of consumers indicating the pandemic will directly impact their plans for the holiday.

24% | Percentage of consumers who plan to gift their loved one with an evening out, the lowest in the survey’s history.

41% | Percentage of celebrants who are planning a special dinner or celebration in the comfort of their own home.

“Consumers still feel it’s important to spoil their loved ones in light of the pandemic,” Prosper Insights executive vice president of strategy Phil Rist said. “This year’s total and average spending figures are near record highs, as the second-highest in the survey’s history.”

39% | Online is the most popular Valentine’s Day shopping destination
29% | Department stores rank second
17% | Local small businesses and specialty stores tied at 17%

The survey of 7,882 adult consumers was conducted January 4-12 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.1 percentage points.

Credit | Jamie Grill via Getty Images

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