Increased Valentine’s Day Spending Expected

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Total Valentine’s Day spending is expected to reach $17.6 billion, according to the National Retail Federation’s 2012 Valentine’s Day Consumer Intentions and Actions survey conducted by consumer-intelligence provider BIGinsight.

The average person celebrating the holiday will spend $126—up nearly 9% over last year and the highest in the survey’s 10-year history, say NRF officials. “As one of the biggest gift-giving holidays of the year, it’s encouraging that consumers are still exhibiting the desire to spend on discretionary gift items, a strong indication our economy continues to move in the right direction,” states NRF president/CEO Matthew Shay.

Average spending:
$74 on significant other
$25 on children, parents or other family members
$7 on friends
$5 on pets
Note: Men are expected to spend nearly twice as much as women ($169 versus $86).

Purchase category:
51%, candy
36%, flowers, evening out
19%, jewelry—the highest percent in the survey’s history
13%, gift cards

Total spending:
$4.1 billion, jewelry
$3.5 billion, evening out
$1.8 billion, flowers
$1.5 billion, candy
$1.4 billion, clothing
$1.1 billion, gift cards

Retailers of choice:
37%, discount stores
34%, department stores
20%, specialty stores
19%, online
18%, floral shop
11%, jewelry stores
7%, specialty clothing stores

Purchase Method/Strategy:
54% of tablet owners will use their devices to research products, compare prices, redeem coupons, look up retailer information or purchase products
40% of smartphone owners will use their mobile devices to do the same

More than 9,000 consumers were polled from Jan. 4-11 for the survey.

[Image: thinkstock.com/Photodisc]