Roses are red, violets are blue and consumers are buying gifts other than flowers on Valentine’s Day, too? Apparently, yes. Florists, as it turns out, made up less than 10 percent of total spend among top Valentine’s categories in 2017. Luxury brands, jewelry stores and women’s ready-to-wear stores tended to be top spending destinations, according to research from First Data.
As consumers seek to impress their special someone, they turned to “big ticket” items in 2017: Retailers saw average ticket sizes of $711 for luxury brands and $378 for jewelry. There were consumers in California that wanted to seriously wow their partners, too, and luxury brands were the top category in San Francisco and Los Angeles, unseating the 2016 front-runner of women’s ready-to-wear.
But those in the Windy City, well, they still like their flowers. Florists were still the top spending destination in Chicago, while liquor stores came out on top in Philadelphia in both 2016 and 2017.
Still, not all Romeos and Juliets are spending hundreds of dollars on gifts. After all, retailers saw an average ticket size of $72 for flowers and $39 for candy on Valentine’s Day last year. Consumers were headed to the gift shop after buying their Valentine’s candy, which saw an average ticket size of $24.
But not all consumers remember to actually buy a gift and have it ready by Feb. 14. Retailers do see customers following Valentine’s Day — and higher ticket sizes then. The average ticket size at florists jumped from $72 on Valentine’s Day to $88 in the days after (Feb. 15 to Feb. 17) last year, perhaps as consumers want to make up for missing the actual day.
In addition or in lieu of a gift, some consumers turn to restaurants for a Valentine’s Day experience. Since Valentine’s Day falls in the middle of the week this year, upscale dining might have seen a decline in customers on Monday and Tuesday, as people might have held off on eating out in anticipation of the occasion on Wednesday.
In 2017, when Valentine’s Day was on a Tuesday, consumer spending hit its peak on the actual day, but restaurants saw a decline in spend on the Sunday and Monday ahead of the occasion. In 2016, when Valentine’s Day fell on Sunday, restaurants saw an increase in spending for Saturday as well.
To see where consumers shopped to wow their valentines, peruse the infographic below: