That money is going to candy, flowers, gift cards, and more.
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opening heart shaped valentines day gift box
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There are a variety of different ways to show your loved ones how much you appreciate them on Valentine's Day: From buying flowers and chocolates to taking that special someone out to dinner, there's a good chance that you're one of the many Americans who planw to spend money on the holiday. How much will you spend? A new report by the National Retail Federation reveals that just over half (52 percent) of adults in the U.S. will celebrate Valentine's Day this year, and we'll collectively spend a total of $21.8 billion on gifts for partners, friends, pets, and more.

The spending report is based on data from a survey conducted from January 4 to January 12 that was fielded to nearly 8,000 consumers. Researchers found that those celebrating plan to spend an average $164.76 on the holiday. That number is down $32 on average per person in comparison to 2020 when consumers spent a record $196.31. Researchers attribute the decrease in spending to COVID-19, finding that 74 percent of consumers celebrating Valentine's Day say the pandemic will directly impact their plans. Those participating can still expect classic gifts—think candy, cards, and flowers—but there is a drop in the number of consumers who will plan for an evening out. In fact, less than 24 percent of respondents plan to gift their loved one with a night out, the lowest in the survey's history.

So, how are Americans planning to spend Valentine's Day? According to the survey, 54 percent plan to gift candy, 44 percent will gift greeting cards, 41 percent will plan a special dinner or celebration at home, and 36 percent will buy flowers for their loved ones. Consumers also plan to spend money on an evening out, gift cards, clothing, and jewelry. Additionally, survey respondents will spend an average of $10.77 on their children's classmates and teachers—down from $14.45 last year. They also plan to spend an an average of $8.47 on colleagues, a decrease from $12.96 in 2020.

As the pandemic has affected Valentine's Day spending trends, it should come as no surprise that many people (39 percent) plan to do their shopping online rather than in person. Twenty-nine percent plan to shop at department stores, followed by discount stores (28 percent), local small businesses (17 percent), and specialty stores (17 percent). The study reveals that this is the first time consumers listed small businesses as a top five shopping destination since the question was added to the survey in 2015.

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