Retail group survey sees small increase in Valentine’s Day spending

U.S. consumer spending on Valentine’s Day gifts this year will only be a small rise on the 2012 figures, says the National Retail Federation (NRF) which commissioned a survey.

Spending by individuals on average will be $130.97 this year, compared with $126.03 last year. Overall spending on Valentine’s Day gifts is projected to be $18.6 billion.

Approximately 20 percent of Valentine’s Day gift-buyers will buy jewelry as a gift, and spending on diamonds, gold and silver is forecast to be more than $4.4 billion.

Jewelry purchases for Valentine’s Day gifts is an important buying period for the diamond jewelry business.

NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said, “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 14th.”

Consumers will carry out a great deal of comparison shopping online in the hunt for low prices and value, the survey found.

In addition, 26.3 percent of those surveyed said they would buy online, the highest figure in the 10 years that the survey has been carried out. That compares with 19.3 percent last year.

Meanwhile, 11.2 percent of respondents said they would do their shopping at jewelry stores.

Approximately 40 percent of smartphone owners will shop for gifts using their devices, while 47 percent of tablet owners will use them to research gift ideas and to carry out purchases.

The survey reveals that just over 60 percent of shoppers will buy gifts for family members, with the rest going on presents for friends, co-workers, and even pets.