Do you feel, like the graphic poster above suggests, that you must spend your hard-earned money on Valentine’s Day to show others how much you care? Apparently, many of us do. The National Retail Federation (NRF) forecasts that Americans will spend $17.6 billion in 2012 in the days leading up to, and, if you’re like many of us, on Valentine’s Day itself.
That’s an average of $126.03 per person – an 8.5 % increase over last year and the highest in the 10 years the NRF has conducted the survey.
$74.12 will be spent on spouses, $25.25 on kids, parents, and other family members, and $6.92 on those special somebodies. And, my favorite statistic of all, Americans will shell out an average of $4.52 on their pets to make sure they don’t feel left out. As you might have guessed, men will far outspend the fairer sex this Valentine’s Day, racking up average expenditures of $168.74 compared to $85.76 for women. True, we probably have more to a make up for.
Jewelry is the big winner in the Valentine’s day consumer frenzy with spending to total $4.1 billion, followed by $1.8 billion on flowers, $1.5 billion on candy, $1.4 billion on clothing, $1.1 billion on gift cards (you sentimental fools), and $3.5 billion on a romantic evening out. NRF President and CEO, Mathew Shay, is “encouraged” by American’s willingness to spend money when told to do so (my words, not his). The original St. Valentine’s Day massacre took place in Chicago; nowadays it happens every year about this time.