Bumper Valentine’s Day expected: gifts out, experiences in

How much is a loved one worth this Valentine’s Day? The answer: $41, according to IBISWorld. And as for what it will be spent on, chocolates and lingerie are out, while dinners out and getaways are in.

The analyst predicts the average Australian will spend $41 on their Valentine in the lead up to 14 February, taking overall spend across the country to about $936 million, a moderate 3% rise on last year.

IBISWorld general manager, Australia, Karen Dobie expects most people to lavish their loved ones with something a little more luxe this year.

“More expensive items are back on the agenda this year”, Dobie says. “And for those not able to splurge on a long weekend or dinner at a Michelin starred restaurant, there will still be opportunities to go that extra mile to impress the object of their desire, such as buying premium chocolates and a dozen roses rather than a mixed bunch of whatever’s in season.”

Tables for two will be hot options on Thursday as Australia’s love affair with cooking shows continues to drive demand for high-end restaurants. Spend on dinners out is expected to increase by 8% to $34 million.

“Establishments with ‘celebrity’ chefs at the helm will be especially popular picks for those trying to impress their loved one on Valentine’s Day”, Dobie says.

Last year’s growth category, jewellery, which experienced 9% growth is expected to log a paltry 1.8% increase this year as lovers opt away from jewellery.

Couples are also expected to take advantage of Valentine’s Day falling on a Thursday and enjoy an extended weekend break, driving growth of 3.7% for accommodation providers.

While the overall spend on clothing and lingerie will remain high in dollar terms, Dobie says growth in this segment is just 0.1% from last year. Similarly spend on chocolate and flowers is expected to flatline.