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Survey February 9, 2022

Young, in Love & Not Broke: Gen Z Plans to Spend More on Luxury Items This Valentine’s Day Than Other Generations

67% of consumers will purchase a gift for their significant other, up 14% from 2021, new report from Alliance Data finds

COLUMBUS, Ohio – February 9, 2022 – Alliance Data Systems Corporation (NYSE: ADS), a leading provider of tech-forward payment and lending solutions, today released findings from its Valentine’s Day study[1], shedding light on how shoppers across the country plan to spend their money this holiday.

The study found that nearly two in five (39%) of Gen Z consumers plan to purchase luxury goods – more than any other age group. The results also show that consumers are ready to spend on their loved ones, with 67% planning to purchase a gift for their significant other (up 14% over 2021) and 27% expect to spend more on Valentine’s Day gifts this year than last year.

According to the study, two-thirds of Gen Z and Millennials say they have not been able to purchase an expensive Valentine’s Day gift in the past because they didn’t have the money upfront. These younger consumers said they would, however, spend more if offered a buy now, pay later option at checkout (38%), or if they received a special discount for using their credit card (29%).

Additional findings from the study include:

Valentine’s Day is the number one holiday consumers plan to purchase gifts for this year: Over 90% of survey respondents stated they were most likely to buy gifts for the day of love, overshadowing winter holidays such as Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa (81%), as well as Mother’s and Fathers Day (67%).

Self love and furry friends not being left behind: While the majority of people plan to purchase gifts for a significant other, 20% plan to purchase gifts for themselves this holiday season. Furry friends are also twice as likely to receive a Valentine’s Day gift this year, with 13% purchasing a gift for their pet, more than double last year.

Top gifts this holiday are jewelry and apparel, but experiential gifts could double: Jewelry will be a top gift this year, with 44% more consumers intending to purchase jewelry compared to those who bought it last year. More valentines will also be opening apparel: 40% more consumers plan to buy apparel this year than who bought it last year. Experiential gifts, such as concerts and spa trips are also on the rise with 13% planning to purchase them this year, compared to 8% who purchased them last year.

Younger generations confess to re-gifting their Valentine’s Day presents: When asked if they had ever re-gifted a Valentine’s Day present, nearly a quarter (23%) of Gen Z and Millennials said, “yes”. On the other hand, only 6% of Baby Boomers admitted to doing the same.

"Our Valentine’s Day study shows that consumers have a positive, revitalized attitude toward spending and gifting – but brands may be leaving sales on the table. As consumers increasingly look for more seamless payment experiences, merchants should look to incorporate a wider portfolio of payment options, such as buy now pay later, to modernize alongside customer expectations and capture a wider pool of shoppers this Valentine’s Day.”

Val Greer, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, Alliance Data