Valentine’s Day spending to decrease, says NRF

The NRF expects couples to cut down on how much they spend on each other this Valentine's Day Couples are expected to emphasize the fact that it’s "the thought that counts" this Valentine’s Day, as spending on gifts is expected to decrease as consumers continue to consolidate debt.

According to the National Retail Federation’s 2010 Valentine’s Day Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, couples are expected to slash how much they spend on their spouse or significant other to an average of $63.34. The year prior, the NRF had found that the average consumer spent $67.22 on their significant other.

With the money saved on their significant others, the survey found that consumers seemed to be rationing their money amongst other friends and family for Valentine’s Day. The average person is expected to spend $5.37 on gifts for friends – an increase from $4.74 in 2009 – while also doling out $2.84 on co-workers – up from $1.94 last year.

"While some may view Valentine’s Day as cliché, many people still look forward to giving significant others, friends, family and even pets something special," said Tracy Mullin, the president and CEO of the NRF. "Rather than not give anything at all, consumers will instead focus on small, thoughtful gifts for the people who mean the most to them this year."

As for the types of gifts being considered for loved ones, the survey noted an uptick in purchases of essential items such as sweaters, winter accessories, and other clothing while gifts of jewelry and "an evening out" saw declines.