|Retailers and suppliers tally up Valentine’s Day spending|
|Monday, 20 February 2012 11:22 AM EST|
Retailers and suppliers are assessing sales to see whether an anticipated Valentine's Day spending hike—seen as an indication of a rebounding economy—hit registers at Christian stores.
According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), the average person celebrating Feb. 14 was set to spend slightly more than $125—up 8% over last year and the highest amount in the 10 years that Valentine's day spending has been tracked.
Total spending this year was predicted to be $17.6 billion, with $4.1 billion of that going to jewelry, $1.8 billion on flowers, $1.5 billion for candy, $1.4 billion on clothing and $1.1 billion on gift cards.
“As one of the biggest gift-giving holidays of the year, it’s encouraging that consumers are still exhibiting the desire to spend on discretionary gift items, a strong indication our economy continues to move in the right direction,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay ahead of the event. One in five Valentine's Day shoppers was expected to head to a specialty store for their purchases.
The season was a good one for Prestonwood Bookstore at Prestonwood Church in Plano, Texas. “We always do well,” said Kelly Graham, co-manager. “Lots of cards, gifts, decor, jewelry ... we sent out a 'we love our customers' Valentine's card with a coupon to our frequent buyers club.”
Wholesale business was double last year's for 1 Eighty Apparel, said founder Kevin Sumner. “People love giving T-shirts.”