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Mixed forecasts for this year’s Valentine’s Day spend

Consumers are expected to splurge $485 million on account of valentine’s day this year – up 16.9 per cent, according to projections by the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) and Roy Morgan.

The two parties’ joint research projects consumers will spend an average of $118 each on gifts, up 6.3 per cent compared to last year.

However, the ARA’s optimism is not necessarily shared by all. Other research – from the e-commerce platform Moonpig – says the cost of living crisis will see a reduction in spending on Valentine’s Day, with 48 per cent of those polled blaming inflation as a major factor for spending less this year on their significant other.

“Our research showed us that consumers are looking for affordable yet meaningful ways to show they care,” said a Moonpig spokesperson.

In the ARA’s survey, the top gift categories include flowers at 42 per cent complemented with a gift, followed by chocolates or food at 29 per cent, sex toys and other toys at 7 per cent and dining out or getaways at 7 per cent.

A major chunk of the spending will come from 18-34-year-olds who are likely to spend $215 million while 35-49-year olds are expected to spend up to $140 million.

ARA CEO Paul Zahra said the “freedom spending phenomenon” has resurfaced as couples celebrate their first restriction-free Valentine’s Day.

“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.”

He added sensory indulgence is a “theme” this year with dining, getaways and sex toys making the list for top gifts.

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