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Thursday, February 2, 2012

Jewelry to Lead the Way for Valentine’s Day

Jewelry is expected to be the most popular gift giving item for Valentine's Day. Montblanc Valentine’s Bead Bracelet.

Consumers are expected to spend $4.1 billion on jewelry, up from $3.5 billion last year, to lead the way for spending this Valentine’s Day, according to a recently released survey. In addition, nearly 19 percent of survey participants said they will buy jewelry this year, up from 17.3 percent last year, the highest percent in the survey’s history.

Total spending for Valentine’s Day is expected to reach $17.6 billion with the average person shelling out $126.03, 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. The highest average spend in the survey’s 10-year history.

Follow this link to view a variety of jewelry gift ideas.

“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,” said 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.”

Consumers will shell out the most on their partners, with the average person planning to spend $74.12 on their spouse or significant other, up from $68.98 last year, according to the survey. In addition, they will spend an average of $25.25 on their children, parents or other family members and $6.92 on friends. Pet owners will spend about $4.52 on their pets.

The survey also found the average male is expected to spend $168.74 on clothing, jewelry, greeting cards and more this year—nearly twice as much as women who are expected to spend an average of $85.76.

More than 13 percent will buy gift cards, up from 12.6 percent last year. Half of all celebrants will buy candy, 36 percent will buy flowers and 35.6 percent will treat their loved one to an evening out.

Consumers will spend more than $3.5 billion on a special evening out, the second highest total, according to the survey. They will also spend $1.8 billion on flowers, $1.5 billion on candy, $1.4 billion on clothing and $1.1 billion on gift cards.

Discount stores are expected to see the most traffic (37 percent), followed by department stores (33.6 percent). Others will shop at specialty stores (20.2 percent), online (19.3 percent), floral shop (17.8 percent), jewelry stores (10.6 percent) and specialty clothing stores (6.6 percent).

More than half of tablet owners (53.8 percent) will use their device to research products, compare prices, redeem coupons, look up retailer information or purchase products, according to the survey. More than 40 percent of smartphone owners will use their mobile device to do the same.