Valentine's shoppers focus more on gifts with experience, professor says

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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) — While many will still pick up the traditional bouquet of flowers or a box of candy this Valentine's Day to give to their loved ones, others will choose to splurge on concerts or spa days.

Dr. Janna Parker, a marketing professor at James Madison University, said "gifts of experience" are becoming much more sought after — especially among millennials. Indeed, the National Retail Federation found more than 40 percent of consumers preferred receiving this type of gift in 2018.

"Those memories tend to last a little bit longer, or for a lifetime, as opposed to if you ask somebody, 'What did you get for a gift this Valentine's Day 10 years ago,' they're not going to remember," said Dr. Parker.

The NRF also reported in 2019, a little more than 50 percent of adults between the ages of 18 and 34 planned on celebrating the holiday, compared to 72 percent a decade ago. But more than a third who say they do not plan to celebrate say they still have plans to buy something for themselves or spend time with other single friends.