Valentine's Day spending tops $19 billion

Posted at 8:46 AM, Feb 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-13 08:46:21-05

Whether you love it or hate it, Valentine’s Day means big money for retailers.

According to a study from the personal finance website WalletHub, consumers are expected to shell out about $19.7 billion for Cupid’s holiday, with the average person spending $146.84.

More than half of women—53 percent—said they would break up with their significant other if they didn’t receive a present. Fortunately, according to the WalletHub study, 14 million marriage proposals are expected to happen on V-Day.

Looking for local deals? Click through our ShopSmart circulars.

A study from the shopping and lifestyle website RetailMeNot found that, not surprisingly, food and sex are popular ways to celebrate.

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Among those who are in a relationship, 52 percent expect to go out to dinner for V-Day, and about the same amount expect to have sex that day.

Other expectations include a card (44 percent), candy (36 percent) and flowers (34 percent).

“They’re really romantic, which is great, and it’s just traditional Valentine’s gifts that everyone looks forward to getting,” said Rebekah George, an expert with RetailMeNot.

Not everyone plans ahead, George said. RetailMeNot found that almost a third of shoppers, 30 percent, don’t do their Valentine’s Day shopping until that day. The average amount of days to start shopping is about 11 days before the holiday.

However, everyone with a sweet tooth knows that the best time to buy Valentine’s Day candy is Feb. 15, when retailers discount the holiday treats by 50 percent or more.

But that’s not the only thing that goes on sale, especially because Monday is President’s Day, a time when many stores have major markdowns.

Watch the clip above to hear what other bargains savvy shoppers can expect.

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