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Over half of UK adults will spend nothing on Valentine’s Day - Northern Ireland amongst least romantic but know what to buy

Feb 10, 2017

  • Average spend on Valentine’s Day set to rise 12% on last year
  • Romantic shoppers log off and head for the high street
  • Men expect to pay twice the price for love and Northern Irish lovers know what to buy
  • West Midlands the most romantic region, Northern Ireland & Scotland amongst the least

Over half of UK adults (52%) don’t plan to buy a gift for their loved one this Valentine’s Day, according to a poll of more than 2,000 people conducted for PwC. Almost half (48%) are not even planning to buy a card.

Northern Ireland (56%) and Scottish consumers (59%), are the most likely to buy a card or gift, but when it comes to certainty, Northern Ireland lovers know what they want. The survey revealed that 43% of local lovers have a clear idea - or may have been told - what their significant other hopes for, that’s almost two and a half times the UK average of 18% who claim to know what their significant other wants.

For those who do decide to treat their partner, they are most likely to select small personal gifts such as handmade items (21%). However, most recipients hope to be wined and dined or just whisked away, with 29% of those surveyed preferring a gift relating to travel or leisure.

Again Northern Ireland is the exception. Only 7% of people here- the lowest of all the 12 regions - plan to present their significant other with a handmade item, while 38% of respondents intend to buy their loved-one holidays, a meal or days out – more than twice the (18%) UK average who can expect a holiday, meal or day(s) out.

On average across the UK, people expect to spend £29.89 on Valentine’s Day, up from £26.69 last year. However, it appears the price of love is higher for men, who expect to spend nearly twice as much as women (£39.70 vs. £20.42).

From the UK national average spend figure, we've calculated that almost half a billion pounds (£458.7 million) will be spent on Valentine's Day gifts, this year.


Commenting on the Valentine’s Day survey results, Madeleine Thomson, retail and consumer leader at PwC, said:

“More than half of UK adults (52%) say they won't be loosening the purse-strings to tug on the heartstrings this year. They don't plan to buy a Valentine's Day gift, and 48% say they won't be buying a card."


“For their Valentine’s Day purchases, consumers still seem to prefer the High Street experience to shopping online. Our survey reveals that 49% of people who plan to buy something for Valentine’s Day plan to do so in store, compared to 30% who will look to purchase by computer.”


The survey findings show that nearly half (49%) of UK adults consider themselves to be romantic, with 18-34 year olds scoring themselves highest (53%).

Across the United Kingdom, it is people living in the West Midlands who believe they are the most romantic (56%) however, on the other end of the spectrum came Northern Ireland, where only 45% of people considered themselves romantic, just ahead of Scotland and the East of England, where only 43% claimed that romance was in their hearts.



Notes to Editor:

About the survey:

This report is based on the results of an online survey conducted in January 2017 by Opinium, the results have been weighed to a nationally representative criteria. The online survey was completed by over 2,000 consumers across the United Kingdom aged 18 and over.

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