NRF: Jewelry Overtakes 'A Night Out' as Top Valentine's Day Gift-Giving Category; Consumers Set to Spend $4.3B

Jewelry is expected to be the strongest Valentine's Day gift-giving category in 2017, with romantic consumers set to spend $4.3 billion on necklaces, rings, earrings, pendants and other jewels for their loved ones.

The survey by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Prosper Insights & Analytics shows the jewelry category taking the top slot from 2016's frontrunner "an evening out," which is expected to underperform this year at $3.8 billion. One year ago, "an evening out" generated $4.49 billion, narrowly beating out the jewelry category at $4.45 billion.

Jewelry will be the gift of choice for 19% of shoppers, while "an evening out" will be preferred by 37%. Valentine consumers are also expected to spend $2 billion on flowers (to be gifted by 35%), $1.9 billion on clothing (19%), $1.7 billion on candy (50%), $1.4 billion on gift cards/gift certificates (16%) and $1 billion on greeting cards (47%).

The jewelry figure of $4.3 billion reflected a slight softening in consumer's overall enthusiasm for the day dedicated to Cupid. Overall spending for Valentine's Day is expected to be $18.2 billion, down from a survey high of $19.7 billion a year ago.

“Valentine’s Day continues to be a popular gift-giving occasion even if consumers are being more frugal this year,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “This is one day of the year when millions find a way to show their loved ones they care regardless of their budget.”

The average consumer is expected to spend $136.57 on Valentine's Day gifts this year, compared to the $146.84 recorded in 2016. Gift-givers will spend an average of $85.21 on their significant other/spouse, $26.59 on other family members, such as children or parents, $6.56 on children’s classmates/teachers, $6.51 on friends, $4.27 on co-workers, and $4.44 on pets.

Despite the huge numbers expected at retail, statistical evidence reveals that the appeal of Valentine’s Day has been slowly fading over the past decade. Exactly 54% of respondents said they will celebrate on February 14, down from 63.4% in 2007.

The NRF’s 2017 Valentine’s Day spending survey was designed to gauge consumer behavior and shopping trends related to Valentine’s Day. The survey was conducted for NRF by Prosper Insights & Analytics. The poll of 7,591 consumers was conducted from January 4-11, 2017, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.1 percentage points.

Image: BigStockPhoto.com

BlogNicole Cohen