Valentine's Day Spending to Reach $485m as Lovers Rejoice Freedom

Australians are set to splash out $485 million in the name of love this year (up 16.9% on 2022), with date nights and getaways showing a strong resurgence post-pandemic and flowers remaining a cornerstone of Valentine's Day gift-giving.

Research from the Australian Retailers Association (ARA), in conjunction with Roy Morgan, shows Australians will this year be spending an average amount of $118 each on their gifts (up 6.3% year on year).

Flowers will be in hot demand, identified by 42% of people who plan on buying a gift followed by chocolates/food (29%), sex toys/other toys (7%) and dining out/getaways (7%).

Consumers in NSW are predicted to spend $155 million on their Valentine's Day gifts, with Victorians to spend $105 million and Queenslanders $85 million.

The bulk of the spending is set to be done by 18-34 year old's, who'll spend $215 million, followed by 35-49-year old's who will spend $140 million.

ARA CEO Paul Zahra said the 'freedom spending' phenomenon has resurfaced as couples celebrate their first restriction-free Valentine's Day since 2020.

"We're expecting a $485 million romantic spending splurge this year, with Australians taking advantage of long sought-after freedoms to spoil their loved ones with gifts, intimate date nights and getaways.

"For couples who have begun a relationship in the last three years - this will be the first opportunity for them to celebrate Valentine's Day without limitations.

"Flowers remain the go-to gift, cementing their status as a staple of the Valentine's Day experience. They're a sentimental token of love and affection that can be customised and tailored to fit any budget.

"The supply of flowers has been at the mercy of weather events and pandemic-driven supply chain disruptions in recent years, but we expect those issues will be somewhat lessened this year.

"Sensory indulgence is certainly a theme this year, with dining, getaways and sex toys rounding out the top gifts.

"Other hot ticket items include watches, lingerie and Airpods. One of the notable gifts recorded was a $350,000 Lamborghini - someone's going to have a great Valentine's Day."

Despite economic headwinds, 89% of respondents say they will spend either more (25%) or the same (64%) as a year ago.

The ARA-Roy Morgan Snap SMS survey was conducted with an Australian-wide cross-section on Tuesday January 24 - Wednesday January 25, 2023.

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