Consumers are buying Valentine’s Day gifts for a wider range of people than ever before — and that translates into very good news for retailers.

That’s according to the annual survey by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics, which found that those celebrating the holiday plan to spend an average $196.31, up 21% over last year’s previous record of $161.96. Spending is expected to total $27.4 billion, up 32% from last.

The unusually large increase in average spending appears to be due to strong consumer finances and a continued trend of consumers buying gifts for friends, family, co-workers and even pets. The increase in total spending comes as the number of people celebrating Valentine’s Day returned to 55%, about average for the past decade, after a dip to 51% last year.

The biggest share of Valentine’s spending still goes to spouses and significant others at 52% of the total, or an average $101.21 this year, up from $93.24 in 2019. But their share of the spending is down from 61% a decade ago.

Meanwhile, 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% of the total from 3%. The share for pets has also doubled, to 6%.

Read more about Valentine’s Day sales on the Chain Store Age website  HERE

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