Consumers are expected to show retailers the money, and shower their significant others, friends, family and even pets with Valentine’s Day gifts of love this year.  According to the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics survey, Americans are expected to set another record for Valentine’s Day spending this year as they continue to widen the range of those they’re buying for.

“Valentine’s Day is a sentimental tradition, but gift-giving can be driven by the economy,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Consumers spent freely during the 2019 winter holidays and they appear ready to do the same in the new year. The same strong employment numbers and higher wages that boosted holiday sales should make it easier to spend a little extra to say ‘I love you’ this year and to spread the gift-giving beyond just your significant other.”

Those celebrating the holiday said they plan to spend an average $196.31, up 21 percent over last year’s previous record of $161.96. Spending is expected to total $27.4 billion, up 32 percent from last year’s record $20.7 billion.

The biggest share of Valentine’s spending still goes to spouses and significant others at 52 percent of the total, or an average $101.21 this year, up from $93.24 in 2019. The share spent on most other recipients has gone up over the past decade, with the amount spent on co-workers, for example, more than doubling to 7 percent of the total from 3 percent. And Valentine’s Day gift givers plan to show lots of love to their favorite fur-babies as well, with twenty-seven percent saying they will buy Valentine’s gifts for their pets, the highest figure in the history of the survey and up from 17 percent in 2010 for a total $1.7 billion.

“We’ve always heard of puppy love, but pets are definitely seeing a larger share of Valentine’s Day spending,” Prosper Insights Executive Vice President of Strategy Phil Rist said. “Husbands and wives don’t need to be worried if their spouses are buying a Valentine’s Day gift for someone else – most likely it’s greeting cards for their children’s class at school, flowers for a family member or maybe a treat for the family dog.”

Shoppers plan to spend $5.8 billion on jewelry (21 percent), $4.3 billion on an evening out (34 percent), $2.9 billion on clothing (20 percent), $2.4 billion on candy (52 percent), $2.3 billion on flowers (37 percent), $2 billion on gift cards (19 percent) and $1.3 billion on greeting cards (43 percent). Gifts of experience such as tickets to an event or a trip to a spa are wanted by 41 percent and planned by 28 percent.

According to the survey, there’s lots of room for jewelry stores to improve on getting shoppers through the doors to pick out those gifts of love.  Local small businesses (15%), clothing stores and jewelry shops (11%) were tied at the bottom of the list when it comes to the most popular Valentine’s Day shopping destinations.  Department stores led the way with 36 percent planning a visit, and discount stores and online shopping tied at 32 percent.  Specialty stores are projected to gain 19 percent of the shopping traffic, and florists will see their businesses bloom with 17 percent of Valentine’s Day shoppers stopping in to say it with flowers. 

The NRF Valentine’s Day survey results follow a 4.1 percent year-over-year increase in 2019 holiday sales, nearly double the 2.1 percent increase in 2018 holiday sales.

These figures make it obvious that Valentine’s Day can be a profitable time for retail jewelers if you make it important to your store and your customers. It’s not too late to grab some of that Valentine’s Day spending for your store. All it takes is a little creativity, and some marketing effort to make it work. Stuck for ideas on how to make an impact on your customers and drive additional traffic and spending in your store?  Here are my top three tips to help celebrate the season of love (and profit!) in your store:

#1)  Create a unique, jewelry-related twist on the “usual” gift of roses and chocolates.  How about offering a Valentine’s day special on a curated selection of rose-gold jewelry and sparkling brown diamonds.  Create interest with a social post like this:

We’ve got the perfect, zero calorie way for you to indulge your sweetie’s chocolate cravings day and night this Valentine’s Day!

Gift your honey with yummy cognac diamonds, and she can have her chocolate and wear it, too!

#2)  Hearts rule.  Yes, you might think heart-shaped anything is corny and spend your days being thankful those “puffed heart charms,” are in your rear view mirror.  But you can’t take the heart out of Valentine’s Day, so suck it up, buttercup, and learn to love the profits that heart-shaped everything jewelry-related can bring.

Promote a selection of heart-shaped gifts with posts like this:

Give your heart, and a sparkling heart-shaped diamond, too! Express your love with a one-of-a-kind gift of dazzling diamond jewelry straight from your heart, and our curated Valentine’s Day collection.

#3)  You’ll never go wrong with a personal touch.  Now more than ever, consumers are connecting with personalized items that reflect their lifestyle, values and tastes.  Spend some time asking questions to help your customers pick gifts that are beautiful, thoughtful and significant, and your efforts will be rewarded with the loyal customers you create through a great customer experience.

Want to know more about how you can get Cupid to shoot his arrow straight to your cash box, have questions about this article or want to suggest a topic for me to cover in future blogs? I’d love to hear from you! Email me at today!

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