For the Sweetest Valentine’s Day Shopping, Go ‘Small’

Local businesses are the backbone of the American economy, employing 48 percent of all private sector employees in U.S.

by Chris Woodward | Updated 05 Feb 2018 at 8:15 AM

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner (and yes, retail outlets let all of us know that — oh, roughly the day after Christmas).

Have you finished your shopping yet? Me, neither — but I hear there’s plenty to choose from at department stores and discount chains, places where the National Retail Federation (NRF) says consumers plan to do most of their shopping again this year.

Still, 14 percent of Americans consumers say they plan to shop at local small businesses.

Small businesses are the backbone of our economy. Ask anyone at the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) — you’ll hear there are 29 million small businesses in the United States. Those businesses employ 48 percent of all private sector employees. The stronger those businesses are, the better off the economy, which, by the way, continues to improve at a time workers are starting to see extra money in their paychecks as a result of President Donald Trump’s tax reform policies.

“This increase in consumers wanting to shop at local businesses for Valentine’s Day is a great sign coming from the consumer who is looking to get unique gifts for their significant other that can’t be purchased at a big box store,” said Ana Serafin Smith, the NRF’s senior director of media relations.

The survey by NRF found that U.S. consumers plan to spend an average of $143.56 on Valentine's Day. Moreover, the NRF discovered that consumers plan to spend:

  • $88.98, on average, for their significant other or spouse;
  • $25.29 on other family members, such as children or parents;
  • $7.26 on children's classmates/teachers;
  • $7.19 on friends;
  • $5.50 on pets; and
  • $4.79 on co-workers

All things considered, consumers will spend a near-record $19.6 billion on Valentine's Day this year, the group notes. Imagine what a piece of that means for your neighborhood flower shops, restaurants and clothing stores? And don't forget jewelry!

These kinds of retailers tend to be those frequented most on or about Valentine's Day. Even greeting cards bring in hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue to the economy at large, so think what a few bucks here and there means for your mom-and-pop pharmacy.

Speaking of mom-and-pop shops, they should be ready.

"They need to ramp up their store and get those promotions going through social media and other platforms that can help increase the foot traffic in their stores during Valentine's Day season," the NRF's Smith recommended.

Related: For the Love of a Vintage Typewriter

NRF has been conducting its annual Valentine's Day consumer spending survey since 2004 to gauge how Americans plan to celebrate this special day with their loved ones.

This year's survey involved 7,277 consumers and was conducted January 3-10.

Chris Woodward is a reporter for American Family News and OneNewsNow.com and is based in Mississippi. 

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