WASHINGTON - Love is in the air this Valentine€™s Day but consumers aren€™t quite ready to shell out the big bucks for their loved ones as much as they were last year. The 2013 Valentine€™s Day spending survey conducted by BIGinsight shows only a slight bump in expected sales this year with the average person planning to spend $130.97 on candy, cards, gifts and more, up from $126.03 last year. Total spending will reach $18.6 billion.
"Valentine€™s Day remains one of the biggest gift-giving holidays of the year, and although consumers will be conscientious with their spending, it€™s great to see that millions of Americans are still looking forward to celebrating with their loved ones," said Matthew Shay, National Retail Federation president/CEO, in a press release. "Recognizing their customers will shop for both price and value, retailers and restaurants will offer plenty of promotions for anyone looking to spoil those that mean the most to them this February 14."
A mix of traditional and non-traditional Valentine€™s Day gifts will be popular this year. More than half (51%) of gift givers will buy candy, spending $1.6 billion in total, and another one-third (36.6%) will give flowers, with total spending expected to top $1.9 billion. Others will treat their special someone to jewelry (19.7%), spending more than $4.4 billion on diamonds, gold and silver. An additional 15.6% will buy clothing, spending more than $1.6 billion. Gift cards, the gift that keeps on giving, will also be on the top of shoppers€™ lists; 15% of gift givers will buy gift cards for their loved ones, totaling to $1.5 billion.
"The mantra 'it€™s the thought that counts,€™ might be most applicable for holidays like Valentine€™s Day, and there€™s no question that this year€™s budget-conscious gift givers will keep this in mind while out looking for the perfect gift," said BIGinsight Consumer Insights Director Pam Goodfellow. "There will be no shortage of deals in the coming days, so frugal consumers will keep a keen eye out for promotions on chocolates, flowers and even dining."