Romance is in the Air: Valentine’s Day Spending to Reach $21.8B

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, people still plan on celebrating Valentine's Day.

Getty Images 908333638 Valentine's Day
Getty Images

The National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics found that 52% of United States adults will celebrate Valentine’s Day this year, bringing spending to a total of $21.8 billion for the annual holiday.

The agency found that 73% of consumers believe that it is important to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year given the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. However, 74% of respondents said that the pandemic will directly impact their plans for the holiday as less than 24% of consumers plan to spend the evening out – the lowest in the survey’s history.

In addition, gift spending has also dropped: those celebrating the holiday will spend an average $164.76, down $32 from 2020.

“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.”

Per the National Retail Federation:

  • With consumers planning fewer evenings out, spending on significant others saw the biggest drop this year, down an average of $13 year over year.
  • This year, online is the most popular Valentine’s Day shopping destination, visited by 39 percent, followed by department stores (29 percent), discount stores (28 percent) and local small businesses and specialty stores tied (17 percent).

  • 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.