This Valentine’s Day, couples will shower their loved ones with special gifts, according to the National Retail Federation. The NRF’s 2011 Valentine’s Day Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, conducted by BIGresearch, says the average person will spend $116.21 on traditional Valentine’s Day merchandise this year, up 11 percent over last year’s $103. Total holiday spending is expected to reach $15.7 billion.
“Having surpassed expectations during the holiday season, it seems consumers are not done spending on gifts, which bodes well for the economy,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said in a statement. “Jewelry, candy and apparel sales should provide a nice boost for retailers during the typically slower months of January and February.”
Couples this year will spend an average of $68.98 on their significant other or spouse, up from $63.34 last year, the NRF survey found. Even family pets will be feeling more of the love this year, as the average person will spend $5.04 on their furry friends, up from $3.27 last year. Consumers will also spend an average of $6.30 on friends, $4.97 on classmates and teachers, and $3.41 on co-workers.
As usual, men will spend the most on Valentine’s Day gifts. The average man plans to shell out more than twice as much ($158.71) as the average woman ($75.79), the survey found, perhaps suggesting men are ignoring the “it’s the thought that counts” sentiment this year.