How much will Aussies spend on Valentine's Day?

Optimism (and love!) is in the air without the threat of a lockdown

How much will Aussies spend on Valentine's Day?


By Micah Guiao

Australian business owners are hoping to make a quick comeback this Valentine’s Day.

The National Australia Bank (NAB) has predicted that over $150 million will be spent on restaurants, jewellers and florists in the week leading up to the anticipated event. Of the estimated amount, $20 million will go to florists and $52 million to jewellers, both of whom are expecting their biggest sales of the entire year.

Without the threat of a lockdown, NAB reported Aussies dining out on the big day will amount to over $80 million, including $24 million in Victoria and $25 million in New South Wales.

Ana Marinkovic, executive for small business at NAB, said optimism is in the air as the nation recovers from the Omicron peak.

“You can sense the excitement from small businesses as Valentine’s Day approaches without lockdowns,” Marinkovic said. “Many small businesses have done it tough, and these celebrations can be critical in helping them bounce back. …We don’t want to lose the heart of our cities and are looking forward to having workers back in offices soon to further support these businesses.”

Victorian restaurateurs will be feeling the most love in 2022 after turnover fell by 70% when a lockdown came into effect on Feb. 13, 2021. Similarly, most of the other regions saw a dramatic decline in restaurant traffic on the day itself, with the exception of Western Australia, where COVID-zero had become the norm.

Tony Nicolini, owner of Melbourne restaurant Italian Artisans, said local business confidence was starting to get back up.

“I’m feeling much more positive about the future,” Nicolini said. “With Valentine’s Day falling on a Monday, I’m anticipating a pretty crazy weekend – and we’re looking forward to taking advantage of an influx of bookings.”

NAB also advised Australians to be cautious of the surge in online romance scams during this time. In 2020 alone, Scamwatch said there were 3,708 filed romance scam cases that cost Australians $39 million. Scamwatch said that number was actually low, excluding thousands who don’t make a report out of fear or embarrassment.

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