Online spending for Valentine’s Day grew 22 percent

Total online spending for Valentine’s Day rose 22 percent through Feb. 9, compared to the same period in 2005, according to comScore Networks. Online sales in the Jewelry & Watches category totaled $219 million, a 24 percent increase compared to the same period in 2005.

The largest spending online occurred in the Health & Beauty category, which totaled $418 million, a 24 percent increase over the previous year, said the Reston, Va.-based company. Online sales in the Flowers, Greetings & Gifts category rose at a slightly slower rate, 17 percent versus 2005.

In January, more than 29 million Americans visited sites in the Flowers, Gifts & Greetings category, a number that is sure to rise in February, said the firm, which measures and analyses online consumer behavior. Leaders in the category include American Greetings, with nearly 9 million unique visitors and Hallmark with nearly 7 million unique visitors.