Valentine’s Day statistics: how will everyone be spending their money

February 14, 2022

The 14th February isn’t like any other day. There’s a huge increase in spending as people from all over the world buy more flowers, chocolates and trips abroad.

Ecommerce, hospitality and travel businesses all see their revenues spike at this particular time of the year.

Valentine’s Day is nearly upon us, so now is the perfect time to look at how everyone will be spending their money.

1. Restaurants are the most popular Valentine’s Day activity

People like to mark Valentine’s Day by treating themselves to special activities. 

Over 36% of UK couples like to go to a restaurant. 26% want to cook at home, whilst 20% want to visit somewhere else.

A minority of people think spending Valentine’s Day is best in a bar (10%), at a live event (8%) or by seeing a film at the cinema (8%).

Do you manage a restaurant? If you would like to make your business covid-safe this Valentine’s Day, why not read our guide on contactless dining.

2. People are using their phones and tablets to make purchases

Valentine's Day spending reflects general consumer habits as people use their mobiles and tablets to make purchases. 

Around 30% of consumers make their Valentine's purchases through ecommerce sites. Whilst 13% support their local businesses by making a purchase there.

Customers also buy directly from company sites (8%) or visit department stores (8%) and shopping centres (8%) to buy something. 

Many shoppers like to get started early when buying gifts, with many retailers spotting a 20% rise in orders in the weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day.

At Pomelo Pay we help businesses accept payments through their phone by facilitating QR code payments. Read more about how QR codes are changing the way customers pay.

3. People spend the most in Hong Kong

Valentine’s Day is a special day across the world, but it is in Asia where people are spending the most money.

One particular study found that spending is highest in Hong Kong, with people buying over €100 in Valentine’s Day gifts.

The UK is the next highest spender, with the average expenditure around the €96 mark. Spending the least in Europe are the Hungarians and Polish on €37, while Portugal is the next lowest on €50.

Whether you have customers in Asia or America, the Pomelo Pay app will ensure that you can easily accept foreign currency payments.

4. 2022 should see a rebound in Valentine’s Day spending

Valentine's Day spending has been rapidly increasing year on year. In 2018, the UK spent over £625 million on gifts and celebrations.

This jumped considerably with spending totalling over £1 billion in 2019, which then increased to just under £1.5 billion for 2020.

Lockdown meant that spending dropped significantly to £1 billion, however observers are predicting that this will rebound significantly for 2022.

5. The North East is where the most expensive presents are bought

If you were expecting Londoners to be the biggest spenders, one study has shown that up north is where they are located.

If you’re receiving a gift in the North East or London then chances are you will be enjoying a gift with a hefty price tag.

People in Yorkshire and East Anglia are amongst the smallest spenders with the average total of their gifts keeping under £20.

6. Over 65s are the least likely to spend on Valentine’s Day

You would expect people with the most disposable income to be the biggest spenders, and this correlates with the research, with the youngest and oldest spending the least.

Over 7% of 24-34 year olds will be celebrating Valentine's Day by spending over £200. Only 5.3% of this age range will not be making any special purchases.

Over 65s spend the least, with around 11% spending under £10. Over 12% of this age category will not be celebrating at all.

7. Men are more likely to reach into their pockets

There are significant differences between the sexes as to how much people are spending on their gifts.

Men are a lot more likely to spend compared to women. The average spend for men is around £40, whilst women spend close to £24.

1 in 10 men will pay over £75 for a Valentine's Day present while 1 in 3 women will spend less than £10 on theirs.

8. Single people join in the gift giving on the day of love

Valentine's Day isn't just for people in relationships. Everyone likes to join in the fun with 20% of single people buying themself a present.

Those in relationships also bought presents for themselves and were happy to spend around £14. Single gift givers spent around £10 on average when making their purchases.

9. The nation’s pets enjoy Valentine’s Day too

The day of love isn’t just for significant others, it’s also a time for significant pets to receive a special gift.

In fact, research found that 1 in 3 people would actually rather spend Valentine's Day with their pet than their partner!

The UK spends around £27 million on pet gifts when Valentine's Day comes around, which works at around £5 per animal.

10. Stationery shops, jewellers and florists make the most on Valentine's Day

Naturally, there are specific industries that do particularly well on Valentine's Day. Hotels, restaurants and florists all perform better on the 14th of February. 

Card shops experience a 40% uplift, whilst jewellers see their sales increase by 32%. Takeaways see a 7% uplift whilst even solicitors see their sales rise by 27%.

Experiences increase substantially as well, with hotels increasing by 22% and romantic getaways up by 13%.

Whereas 20 years ago, the vast majority of people would have bought their Valentine’s Day gifts in-store, ecommerce now accounts for around a third of all retail sales.

As more and more people go cashless, this trend will continue into the future. However your customer chooses to pay, with Pomelo Pay you can easily accept online and in-person payments.