Valentine's Day spending trends from First Data

Valentine's Day spending trends from First Data

Most popular gift categories, average transaction values, regional differences and other insights.

February 13, 2018
First Data
Industry News Retail News

As Valentine’s Day approaches, love may be in the air, but consumers’ hands are in their wallets. Global payments technology company First Data has analyzed spending data around the holiday to see what people are purchasing for their Valentines.

Luxury brands, jewelry stores and women’s ready-to-wear stores tend to be top spending destinations for Valentine’s Day, while florists made up less than 10 percent of total spend among the top “Valentines” categories.

Other findings include: 

Big Ticket Items: Some Valentine’s Day favorites come with cost, with average ticket sizes for luxury brands at $711, jewelry at $378, flowers at $72, and candy at $39 on Valentine’s Day last year. 

Candy and a Card: Candy and cards are a hit. Last year, the number one destination for people after they bought their Valentine candy (average ticket size $39) was to a gift shop (average ticket size of $24). 

“Oops, I Forgot" Spending: The average ticket size at florists jumped from $72 on Valentine’s Day to $88 in the days after (February 15-17), perhaps as people tried to make up for missing the actual day. 

The Day Affects the Dining: With Valentine’s Day falling on a Wednesday this year, upscale dining may see a drop in customers on Monday and Tuesday, while people hold off on eating out in anticipation of the holiday. In 2017, when Valentine’s Day was on a Tuesday, consumer spending hit its peak on the actual day, with a decline in spend on the Sunday and Monday ahead of it. In 2016, when Valentine’s Day fell on Sunday, there was an increase in spending for Saturday as well.

Regional Differences: 
o West Coast Luxury: In 2017, luxury brands was the #1 category in San Francisco and Los Angeles, unseating women’s ready-to-wear which was the front runner in 2016.
o Midwest Loves Flowers: Florists have been #1 in Chicago for two years in a row.
o Philadelphia Heads to the Liquor Stores: Surprisingly, liquor stores came out on top in Philadelphia in both 2016 and 2017.

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