Retailers to Feel the Love on Valentine’s Day

Good news for coupled-up consumers and retailers alike — for the first time since 2008, Valentine’s Day spending is projected to increase. According to a BigReseach survey from the National Retail Federation, the average person will spend $116.21 on Valentine’s Day this year, up 11% from 2010 spending levels. Total holiday spending is expected to reach $15.7 billion.

So who will see the most love?

Cupid Brings Bling for Ladies
The NRF reports that men will spend more than twice as much as the average woman this year. This bodes particularly well for candy, flowers and jewelry retailers, particularly in the luxury sector. Limited Brands, who have been hitting sales out of the park the past few months, will likely see strong sales, led by their Victoria’s Secret brand. Following holiday momentum, the luxury sector also continues to outperform, with Tiffany reporting a 14% increase in the most recent quarter’s revenue. Higher-end chocolate sales are also likely to fare well, following strong sales for both Lindt and Ghirardelli. Overall, expect the luxury sector to see some extra sparkle for the holiday, due to high levels of consumer confidence and increased discretionary spending.

Getaways Gaining in Popularity

Pricy trips to tropical climates saw a decline during the recession, but are starting to pick back up as the economy improves. While still not an option for some stretched consumers, tax returns and the particularly brutal winter weather in the northeast this year may encourage more getaway gifting.

Juries Out on Mid-Priced Jewelry

Unlike luxury, the mid-priced jewelry sector has not been as consistent, and their Valentine’s Day results may be more mixed. While chains like Zales have done well, jewelry and accessories have been sore spots for Target and some department stores. Still, signs suggest that middle-income shoppers may open their wallets for Valentine’s Day. Jewelry sales are forecasted to increase over the holiday, and discounts at chains will likely fuel spending.

Hallmark Holiday Favors Discounters

While we continue to see evidence of the stratification of consumers in consumer spending habits, it seems that the purse strings will be open this Valentine’s, even for the more pressured consumer. The NRF reports that discount stores will be the most popular shopping destination and greeting cards the most popular gift this year.

All told, it seems that there is plenty of love to go around this year.

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