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We'll spend $18.6 billion this Valentine's Day

Those little candy hearts add up.

By Kristin Wong Feb 5, 2013 5:07PM

You can't buy love, but we sure do spend a lot to honor it. The countdown to Valentine's Day has begun—only nine more days—and the National Retail Foundation has released their annual spending survey. 

This Valentine's Day, the average person is expected to shell out a little over $130 to say 'I love you' with candy, gifts and flowers.

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And while we spent an impressive $17 billion in 2012, we're expected to outdo ourselves in 2013, spending a total of $18.6 billion. Seems like a lot, but the National Retail Foundation (NRF) actually points out that this is a "slight increase."

So what kind of gifts are we all buying for a cool, collective $18 billion?

The NRF estimates that both traditional and non-traditional gifts will be popular this year. More than half of us (51 percent) will buy candy, and 36 percent will pick up a bouquet for our Valentine.

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Nineteen percent of gift-givers are expected to buy jewelry, putting a $4.4 billion dent in that grand total. Surprisingly, gift cards are expected to be popular, too—15 percent of consumers will purchase one for their loved one.

Men will spend an average of $175 on these gifts, while women will fork over $88.

Candy and flowers are expected to remain the most popular gifts, but guys might want to proceed with caution. According to a recent survey, women are over the traditional Valentine's Day gift of chocolate and red roses. A ProFlowers poll sent to The Heart Beat found that 31 percent of women think red roses are cliché, and 21 percent say it's not a very creative gift.

That might be something to consider before you contribute to that $18 billion.

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Photo: Stewart Cohen/Getty Images

Feb 6, 2013 6:45PM
why have one day to show your love and devotion, what about the other 364 days?
Feb 6, 2013 6:26PM

This day is over-rated.......love should be celebrated every day, no "holiday" needed....how sad is it, too that a man would buy his lady red roses and chocolate and the a third of women are like "Eh, typical...."?  That's what happens when it becomes expected!!  Now if on June 23rd (random day), he decides to SURPRISE her with that, it'll be received much better and appreciated much more!!!!

Feb 6, 2013 5:53PM
being born on this day , it was hell back in school as a kid , never have understood why this made up BS day is so important , wait it all the $$$$$$$ big company's make off it! I get it its not really about love its love of the $...lol...Happy Birthday To Me even if its early...
Feb 6, 2013 5:40PM

$18.6 billion !!

how about we create a one day holiday for getting  the fed out of debt.

Feb 6, 2013 5:38PM
what i meant to say is the origins of todays valentines day is retail driiven.  it's actually very old.
Feb 6, 2013 5:35PM

I think that this day has become very commercialized.  You don't need nor should you have one special day to declare your love for a person.  This should be shown on a continuous basis.  It seems like people are always trying to "outdo" each other with big and splashy declarations...do you not realize that it is the little things each day that mean the most?  Those tender endearments remain in your heart forever.  When you feel obligated to "do" Valentine's Day, that is when you cheapen the entire concept.


Feb 6, 2013 5:14PM
he'll buy her a diamond necklace and she'll buy him a tie.  still think women don't marry for money?  signed once bitten twice shy.
Feb 6, 2013 5:08PM

A gift should not immerse me deeper in debt even if it is not "very creative"  I am personally sick for a gift having to be shown on some big stadium screen for it to be considered original.  I want to suppose that a rose is always welcome and that a kiss will show her that she is the one I  prefer.


That, or a couple of days on some secluded sunny beach will certainly make it memorable

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