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Valentine’s Day spending vastly down in 2021, per study

Valentines No More Sweethearts
Posted at 3:53 PM, Feb 10, 2021

Spending on Valentine’s Day is expected to take a plunge in 2021 amid a pandemic that has limited gatherings and entertainment options.

According to the National Retail Federation, American consumers are expected to spend on average $165 for Valentine’s Day, a $32 decline from 2020. Last year’s figures set a record, according to the NRF.

“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.”

One major reason for the drop in spending is due to a shift from dining in restaurants to eating at home. The NRF says that 24% are planning a night out for Valentine’s Day, compared to 34% who said they were planning a night out last year. The NRF said that 46% are actively avoiding in-person dining amid the pandemic.

This alone is expected to result in a $1.5 billion drop in Valentine’s Day spending.

Meanwhile, 41% say they’re planning to have a “special” meal at home.

The NRF also noted that there is expected to be a sizable drop in those planning on buying gifts for teachers and colleagues, as many schools and businesses have shifted to virtual operations.

One area the NRF expects to remain strong is spending on pets, as 27% say they’ll purchase gifts for their pets.

Also, young adults are the only age group expected to spend more this year for Valentine’s Day. The NRF expects that Valentine’s Day spending among adults ages 18-24 will jump from $109 last year to $184 this year.