How COVID-19 is changing Valentine’s Day this year


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How COVID-19 is changing Valentine’s Day this year

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Valentine’s Day is known as the holiday to show your love to those you care about the most. As COVID-19 changes the way we celebrate the holidays, consumers are reimagining how to spread love while maintaining safe social distancing.

According to NRF survey data from the past few months, 52% of adults plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day. That’s slightly lower than last year (55%), but not as big as many expected, suggesting that people are looking for any opportunity or excuse to bring a little extra joy into their lives, or even just to obfuscate the routine.

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While engagement rates are encouraging, consumer activity is more limited than in the past. This led to a drop in planned spending; consumers spent an average of $165 this year, about $32 less than last year. People may be dining at home with loved ones, and they may be buying gifts for fewer people this year than they used to.

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Online buying trends are on par with those of consumers buying gifts over the past year: Some 39 percent of consumers said they plan to buy Valentine’s Day gifts online this year — the highest level in the survey’s history. Meanwhile, one in five said they plan to buy from a local or small business, a brand new trend.

“People are very aware of what’s going on in their local communities,” said Katherine Cullen, NRF’s senior director of industry and consumer insights. “They’re looking for something meaningful, whether it’s something meaningful to support a small business or a unique gift to give to a loved one.”

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Cullen joins the Retail Gets Real podcast to share how Valentine’s Day has evolved this year and how consumers are finding unique ways to connect.

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81 shares, 62 points