According to data, billions of dollars are spent on Valentine’s Day annually. Additionally, entire sectors heavily rely on lovers giving gifts, even though its allure and attraction have started to fade.
The fourteenth of February, known as Valentine’s day, is marked in the calendar of many Americans who plan to celebrate their loved ones through sweets, gifts, and dinner dates. Since it was initially celebrated, Valentine’s Day has become one of the most successful shopping seasons of the year.
The following statistics gathered by GiftWrapper will give you a better view of the most interesting facts and statistics on Valentine’s day sales.
Valentine’s day may be celebrated around the world, but the origins of the festival and the saint it is named after are unclear. The Catholic Church knows at least three martyrs called Valentine or Valentinus, each with their own story linked to the holiday we celebrate today. Despite the ambiguous nature of the Valentine legends, they all highlight his appeal as a sympathetic, valiant, and—most importantly—romantic person.
At the end of the 5th century, Pope Gelasius proclaimed February 14 as St. Valentine’s day, replacing the pagan festival Lupercalia because it was thought to be “un-Christian. The holiday became famous in Britain and the rest of Europe as the years passed because Chaucer and Shakespeare idealized it in their writing.
Eventually, the tradition was brought to the New World. Factory-made cards were introduced in the 19th century thanks to the Industrial Revolution. In addition, Hallmark Cards of Kansas City, Missouri, started mass-producing valentines in 1913. Since then, February has never been the same.
Valentine’s day is a special day for many people. In 2022, 53% of Americans planned to celebrate it; however, this percentage keeps falling overall. In 2020, 55% reported celebrating this day. Furthermore, comparing this year’s statistics to those more than a decade ago, we notice a 10% decrease in people who plan to celebrate Valentine’s day.
Valentine’s day is famous for its romantic Hallmark cards, candies, and flowers. Even though classic Valentine’s day gifts never seem to go out of vogue, there are countless other ways to express love.
So let’s take a look at where Americans shelled out their money to cherish their loved ones.
76% of people who celebrated Valentine’s day thought doing so was vital to them due to the previous pandemic. And although Valentine’s day is a time to honor all kinds of love, many customers this year were more focused on romantic relationships.
So, while sweets, flowers, or cards are a go-to when purchasing a gift for Valentine’s day, more consumers than ever were leaning toward gifting jewelry on this day. Women were also influencing this trend more than ever, with 14% of women giving sparkling gifts this year and spending twice as much as they did the year before.
Over the years, data shows that people’s preferences for gifts have changed. Greeting cards appeared to be the preferred gift among Americans in 2010, but candy overtook them in 2022. However, throughout the same time period, gift cards had the highest rise, up 10%.
People appear to like experimenting with the idea of gifts for Valentine’s day. Day by day, they are getting outside the box and thinking big. About a third (32%) plan to give their loved ones gifts of experience, an increase from 26% last year. They are expected to spend up to $4.4 billion on these special nights out, and 41% said they would love such gifts.
The top gift choices predicted for 2023 include candy (57%), greeting cards (40%), flowers (37%), an evening out (32%), jewelry (21%), gift cards (20%), and clothing (19%).<.p> And even though jewelry may not be the top gift choice for everyone, Americans are expected to spend an amount crossing $5.5 billion on it.
Valentine’s day is celebrated by more than half of Americans as an opportunity to splurge on their loved ones. Even out of those (47%) who chose not to celebrate this year, 27% still planned to mark the occasion.
Because of the pandemic and people wanting to cherish their loved ones more than ever, 2020 marked the peak of Valentine’s day spending with $27.4B. On the other hand, in 2022, Valentine’s day saw $23.9B spent on gifts for partners, friends, pets, and more. This year, spendings are expected to skyrocket again. Consumers are expected to spend up to $25.9 billion on Valentine’s Day this year, compared to $23.9 billion in 2022 which will mark one of the highest spending records to date.
Shoppers spent an average of $175.41 per person on Valentine’s day gifts, up from $164.76 in 2021. The increase was brought on by people who planned to spend more money on spouses or significant others.
For partners’ gifts, shoppers anticipated spending an average of over $100, up from $88 in 2021 and on a level with spending in 2020 before the pandemic. Jewelry-related spending totaled $6.2 billion, and $2.3 billion were spent on flowers. 2023 forecasts an average spending of $192.80. This depicts an increase in average spending compared to $175.41 in 2022.
Many Americans see Valentine’s day as a golden opportunity to take things to the next level.
However, lovebirds were not the only ones that seized the occasion. 51% of single people felt comfortable taking advantage of this day to go on a first date, and 27% of singles celebrated Valentine’s day even if they did not secure a date.
Whether they had a first date on Valentine’s day or just decided to make things serious, more than 1 million people changed their relationship status on Facebook within four days of Valentine’s day.
This day is popular among Americans for similar reasons to why they enjoy other holidays. The occasion is a celebration of love, which has played a unique role in their lives. Here is how different demographics choose to celebrate Valentine’s day.
For women, Valentine’s day is a date marked in their calendars. They want to feel loved, valued, and special on this day by their partners. On the other hand, while having a 3% lower likelihood of wanting to celebrate Valentine’s Day than women, men spent nearly twice as much on this holiday.
When it came to gifts, men seemed to prefer buying flowers (56%) and candy (52%), whereas women’s go-to seemed to be candy (59%) and greeting cards (43%). Nonetheless, despite their best efforts, many did not hit the spot when it came to finding the perfect gift for their loved ones. 43 million Americans claimed they received unwanted gifts, leading to a $9.5B spent on these gifts. (We've got gift guides for men and gift guides for women to hopefully prevent this from happening.)
While many might believe that younger generations go crazy on holidays like this, in 2022, that was not the case. Out of people who chose not to celebrate Valentine’s day, the largest percentage (51%) was 18-24-year-olds; however, they still marked the occasion through gifts.
Still, Valentine’s day is celebrated largely throughout all age groups. Millennials have a special place in their heart for Valentine’s day, with data showing they held the largest percentage who planned to celebrate Valentine’s day and were among those who chose to spend the most for it.
As for the gifts, all age groups seemed to agree that you can never go wrong with candy, except for the older generations (65+), who still believed that greeting cards are the way to go.
It is safe to assume that most people love candy, which is why it is a popular Valentine’s Day gift for people of all ages, especially for Gen Zs.
Flowers express the deepest emotions in the most graceful way, making it the go-to gift for Valentine’s day.
Jewelry is a meaningful and romantic gift mostly preferred by Millennials because it can be worn every day and serves as a reminder of love.
Greeting cards give the opportunity to send someone a heartfelt message on this special day and seems to be the go-to for Baby Bommers.
All generations enjoy gifts of experience and planning an evening out with their significant other sounds like a perfect Valentine’s gift for most of them.
With fashion being a big part of the young generation’s life, it is no surprise that clothing is a go-to gift, especially for Gen Zs.
Gift cards seem to be the safest gift for Valentine’s day, avoiding the possibility of buying an unwanted gift. However, because it cannot be personalized, it appears to be the least popular of the gifts.
For the last five years, the interest in Valentine’s day has decreased by 50% according to Google search volumes.
Additionally, Americans in New York search the most for Valentine’s day, followed closely by West Virginia and New Jersey.
Since consumer spending makes up the largest portion of the gross domestic product in the United States, accounting for almost 82% of the country’s total output, these kinds of holidays are anticipated to strengthen the economy.
Valentine’s day is a condensed holiday in the first two weeks of February. Its shopping occurs over a significantly shorter time than a holiday or back-to-school purchase, complicating matters further.
Online remains the most popular place to shop for Valentine’s day this year, with 41% of shoppers visiting it. They start fine-tuning from an IT perspective, tweaking and then doing a stress test readiness review to ensure everything is in place to handle the surges of volume they expect way before the day comes.
In 2023, similar to recent years, the most optimal shopping choice for purchasing Valentine’s Day gifts this year is expected to be online shopping (35%), with department stores (34%), discount stores (31%), and specialty stores (18%) coming in close.