Last updated: February 13. 2014 10:11PM - 188 Views
By Ryan Carpe rcarpe@civitasmedia.com

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DARKE COUNTY – While Valentine’s Day provides extra opportunity to show affection for a loved one, it also carries a hefty price tag.

According to the National Retail Federation’s (NFR) 2014 Valentine’s Day spending survey conducted by Prosper Insights and Analytics, the average person plans to spend $133.91 on candy, cards, gifts, dinner and more, up slightly from $130.97 last year.

Total U.S. spending is expected to reach $17.3 billion for those aged 18 and older. But despite the costs the inherent costs in the holiday, many Americans are still taking a somewhat economical approach this year.

According to the same survey, 54 percent of Americans will celebrate with their loved ones this year, compared to 60 percent in 2013.

“Valentine’s Day will continue to be a popular gift-giving event, even when consumers are frugal with their budgets. This is the one day of the year when millions find a way to show their loved ones they care,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “Consumers can expect Cupid’s holiday to resemble the promotional holiday season we saw just a few months ago, as retailers recognize that their customers are still looking for the biggest bang for their buck.”

And while both sexes are expected to participate in the holiday, males tend to spend quite a bit more. Specifically, men will spend an average of $108.38 on gifts for their significant others, which more than doubles the amount from woman at $49.41.

While the traditional gifts of flowers and candy are sure to make their way into many households this week, greeting cards are the most common items given for the holiday, with more than half (51 percent) purchasing them for a significant other. Forty-nine percent of gift buyers will buy candy and more than a third will give flowers.

Only 19 percent will purchase jewelry for their partners, but even that amount will total $3.9 billion, and 37 percent will celebrate with an evening out spending an estimated total of $3.5 billion.

“While fewer are planning to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year, millions of shoppers will still make room in their discretionary budgets to send cards and gifts to loved ones or enjoy a special evening out,” says Prosper Insights and Analytics Director Pam Goodfellow. “Consumers can expect promotions on everything from flowers to date night dinner packages in the coming days, leaving plenty of ideas for those looking to spoil their Valentines.”

And while Valentine’s Day often carries a romantic connotation, many people will show their appreciation for family members (59 percent) friends (22 percent) teachers (20 percent) and colleagues (12 percent).

And of course many Americans will be sure to use the holiday to honor their pets, with 19 percent of those surveyed said they’d buy gifts for their furry friends, spending an average of $5.51.

The also survey found that 26 percent of Americans plan to shop online this Valentine’s Day. Many will utilize their new Christmas gifts to make a purchase, with 24 percent researching or comparing prices on their smartphones and 32 percent using their tablets.

The NRF’s 2014 Valentine’s Day spending survey was designed to gauge consumer behavior and shopping trends related to Valentine’s Day. The survey was conducted for NRF by Prosper Insights & Analytics. The poll of 6,417 consumers was conducted from Jan. 2-13 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.2 percentage points.

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