3 Ways COVID-19 is Changing Valentine’s Day Plans this Year


National Retail Federation | February 3, 2021


As shoppers have adapted to pandemic lifestyles, consumers are changing how they spend on Valentine’s Day this year. According to NRF and Prosper Insights & Analytics, consumers plan to spend an average $165 on Valentine’s Day gifts and celebrations — $32 less than they budgeted last year. Despite this drop, it's still the second highest Valentine’s Day in terms of expected spending. Here are 3 ways consumers are celebrating differently.


No reservation required. With rising COVID-19 cases and indoor dining restrictions, many consumers are swapping a romantic evening out for an at-home celebration. Just 24 percent say they will celebrate with an evening out this year, down from 34 percent last year and the lowest in the survey’s history.


A gap year for dating. Compared with last year, those between the ages of 18 and 24 are significantly less likely to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Not just passing on a romantic night out, young consumers are also less likely to get together with friends or treat themselves to something special. The young consumers who are celebrating, are spending more this year.

Love in the bubble. With many classes taking place virtually or in small groups, consumers are much less likely to be including teachers, classmates or co-workers in their Valentine’s Day plans. One group that still made consumers’ bubbles? Pets. Just like last year, 27 percent of those celebrating Valentine’s Day are planning to buy gifts and other treats for their pets.


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