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Valentine's Shoppers to Spend More

The average person in the U.S. will spend $126.03 on Valentine's Day, up 8.5 percent over last year’s $116.21, according to NRF’s 2012 Valentine’s Day Consumer Intentions and Actions survey conducted by BIGinsight. Total spending is expe

The average person in the U.S. will spend $126.03 on Valentine's Day, up 8.5 percent over last year’s $116.21, according to NRF’s 2012 Valentine’s Day Consumer Intentions and Actions survey conducted by BIGinsight. Total spending is expected to reach $17.6 billion, the highest in the survey’s 10-year history.

Thirty-seven percent of shoppers will hit discount stores, and 33.6 percent will head to department stores, up from 30.5 percent last year, while 19.3 percent will shop online, up from 18.1 percent last year. Others will shop at specialty stores (20.2 percent), floral shops (17.8 percent), jewelry stores (10.6 percent) and specialty clothing stores (6.6 percent).

Nearly 19 percent will buy jewelry, up from 17.3 percent last year and the highest percent in the survey’s history. Some will give the gift of choice: 13.3 percent will buy gift cards, up from 12.6 percent last year. Additionally, 50.5 percent will buy candy, 36.0 will buy flowers and 35.6 percent will treat someone to a nice evening out.

“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,” says Matthew Shay, president and chief executive officer, NRF. “Anticipating high foot traffic in the coming weeks, retailers have replenished their inventories and will entice eager shoppers with great deals on everything from special menu items at restaurants to clothing to flowers and, of course, chocolates.”

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