Consumers plan to share the love this Valentine’s Day, spending $126.03 on average, up 8.5 percent over last year, according to the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) 2012 Valentine’s Day Consumer Intentions and Actions survey, conducted by BIGinsight. Total spending is expected to reach $17.6 billion.
“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, NRF president and ceo. “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.”
So who are they shopping for this year? The average person plans to spend $74.12 on their spouse or significant other, up from $68.98 last year, reports NRF. Additionally, consumers will spend an average of $25.25 on their children, parents or other family members and $6.92 on friends.
Those celebrating plan to shop for a variety of merchandise, with 19 percent of survey respondents buying jewelry, 13.3 percent buying gift cards and half purchasing candy. Discount stores are expected to see the most traffic (37 percent), while one-third of shoppers say they’ll head to department stores. Online retailers will also see a nice boost this year with 19.3 percent shopping online. Others will shop at specialty stores (20.2 percent), floral shop (17.8 percent), jewelry stores (10.6 percent) and specialty clothing stores (6.6 percent).