Jewelry a Popular Gift for Valentine’s Day

Consumers plan to spend an average of $102.50 on Valentine’s gifts and merchandise, down from last year’s $122.98 per person, according to a National Retail Federation survey. Total Valentine’s Day spending is expected to reach $14.7 billion.

When it comes to spending, most people will still buy traditional favorites even though they plan to spend less. Over one-third (35.7%) of people will buy flowers, nearly the same as last year’s 35.9 percent, and 16 percent will buy jewelry, compared to16.6 percent in 2008, according to the 2009 Valentine’s Day Consumer Intentions and Actions survey, conducted by BIGresearch.

In addition, more people this year will send greeting cards than they did last year (58% vs. 56.8% in 2008). Others will head to their favorite restaurant (47%), purchase clothing (10.2%) or a gift card/gift certificate (11%).

“A bad economy won’t stop Cupid this Valentine’s Day, but it might slow him down,” said Tracy Mullin (pictured), NRF president and chief executive officer. “This year more than ever, consumers will look for creative and inexpensive ways to show those they love how much they mean to them.”

The majority of people (90.8%) will spend the most on their spouse ($67.22), with other family members such as children getting about one-fifth of their budget ($20.95). Consumers will also spend on friends ($4.74), children’s classmates/teachers ($3.59), co-workers ($1.94), and pets ($2.17).

The 35-44 year old age group will spend the most this year with the average person planning to shell out $119.19. Young adults 18-24 will be the second biggest spenders at an average of $113.68 per person, followed by 45-54 year olds ($108.82), 25-34 year olds ($105.59), and 55-64 year olds ($83.76).