National spending for Valentine’s Day expected to be down this year

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — How much do you plan to spend this Valentine’s Day? Experts say the average consumer will spend $136.57 on the holiday.

According to the National Retail Federation, consumers are expected to spend a total of $18.2 billion this Valentine’s Day.

Businesses will be bringing in $1 billion less than they did in 2016, though.

Individual consumers spend just about $146.84 last year, a record high.

About $2 billion is expected to be spent on flowers alone, making it one of the busiest days of the year for Richard Espeut.

As owner of the Frey Florist & Greenhouse, Espeut already purchased 3,000 roses and 3,500 carnations in preparation for the big day.

According to Espeut, a lot of the business is last-minute, but “everyone walks out with something really nice when they come in.”

Kristen Regine, a professor in the Business School at Johnson & Wales University, said that Valentine’s Day sales strategies are similar to that of any holiday.

“Where you’re going to expect to see deals and package deals and you’ll notice that retailers are strategically placing the visual displays when consumers walk in to get those chocolates and flowers and cards,” she explained.

Regine also said she doesn’t believe the dip in national spending is significant.