Family, friends, colleagues and even pets are set to be hit by cupid’s arrow this Valentine’s Day as $485 million (up 16.9%year on year) in spend evolves beyond the traditional gift for a significant other.
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).
ARA CEO Paul Zahra says the traditional Valentine’s gifting experience has this year been expanded beyond the traditional partner or lover.
“The gift-of-love has evolved this year, with shoppers increasingly spoiling friends, family, colleagues and even pets,” Mr Zahra said.
“Pets are in for a treat this year – a fitting reward for their companionship throughout a tough period in history. Just don’t expect the gift to be reciprocated!
“We’re expecting a $485 million romantic spending splurge, mostly happening today with Australians taking advantage of long sought-after freedoms to shower their loved ones with gifts, intimate date nights and getaways,” he said.
“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.”
Flower power will reign supreme, identified by 42% of people who plan on buying a gift.
Mr Zahra says flowers are a thoughtful, versatile, and convenient gift.
“Flowers are a timeless Valentine’s Day gift – and cater to a wide range of budgets and tastes.”
Florists are also anticipating a last-minute rush today with red roses being the most popular.
More and more men are now receiving flowers for Valentine’s Day – making up 20 per cent of all sales – with sunflowers a top pick.
The other top gifts included chocolates and champagne, identified by 29% of people who plan on buying a gift followed by sex toys (7%) and dining out/getaways (7%).
“The ‘no price to love’ is certainly a theme this year, with dining out, getaways and sex toys rounding out the top gifts,” Mr Zahra added.
“Other popular gift items are intimate apparel, fragrances and jewellery.
“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,” Mr Zahra said.
“Restaurants expect to be at their busiest this evening, so it’s important that lovers have made a reservation ahead of their romantic celebration to avoid disappointment”.