Be prepared to spend more on Valentine’s Day

The average shopper is expected to spend nearly $147 on Valentine’s Day this year, up roughly 3 percent from 2015, according to Florida Retail Federation.

Nationally, Valentine’s Day spending is expected to total nearly $20 billion, retail leaders said.

Hoffman's 5 piece truffle
Hoffman’s 5 piece truffle

The top gift this year – candy. Roughly 50 percent of shoppers said they planned to buy sweets for their sweetheart, spending a total of $1.7 billion, according to the Florida organization’s partners at the National Retail Federation.

“Valentine’s Day continues to play a significant role in the bottom line for Florida retailers, as consumers buy gifts to show their affection for their loved ones,” Florida Retail Federation President/CEO Randy Miller said. “With an improving Florida economy combined with low gas prices, and great deals on popular merchandise and meals, we expect retailers and consumers to love this year’s Valentine’s Day shopping season.”

Roughly $4.4 billion will be spent on necklaces, earrings and other jewelry items, according to the national federation’s survey, which was conducted by Prosper Insights and Analytics.

Another $1.1 billion will be spent on greeting cards.  Nearly half of those celebrating (47.9 percent) are expected to purchase a greeting card this year, the survey found.

The national federation expects shoppers will spend $1.9 billion on roses and bouquets.

And don’t forget your pets. According to the survey, shoppers are expected to spend $681 million to get their pets a Valentine’s Day treat.

This retailer is hiring 450 employees in the Palm Beach County area

The Home Depot plans to hire 450 people to fill positions at 10 stores in the Palm Beach County area as part of a national hiring campaign, the company announced Wednesday.

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

The home improvement giant said it plans to hire more than 80,000 employees at its 2,000 stores across the country. The spring is historically the company’s busiest season, The Home Depot said.

“There’s no better time to join our team than spring, whether you’re a college student, recent grad or a veteran hoping to build a career, a retiree who wants a fun job, or anyone who simply enjoys home improvement,” said Tim Crow, executive vice president—Human Resources.

Openings include sales, operations and cashier positions.

The company said it was also seeking “associates to set product merchandising displays, help maintain store appearance, and keep products customer-ready.”

Applications must be submitted online at The Home Depot’s careers site, www.careers.homedepot.com.

See where Harbor Freight opened its new Palm Beach County store

Harbor Freight, a national discount tool and equipment retailer,  has opened a new store along Okeechobee Boulevard just west of Interstate 95 in West Palm Beach.

(Photo by Craig Jones/Getty Images)
(Photo by Craig Jones/Getty Images)

The store, at 2497 Okeechobee Boulevard, is located in the Westward Shopping Center.

The Westward Shopping Center lost three large tenants — Old Navy, Sports Authority and PetSmart — when the Marketplace area at Palm Beach Outlets opened in late 2014. The 300,000-square-foot Marketplace at the Outlets houses roughly 20 stores, most of which will are national chains and big box retailers, including the recently opened Whole Foods.

Harbor Freight is located in space once occupied by Old Navy.

Last year, Burlington, a national off-price retailer, opened a 55,000-square-foot store at the Westward Shopping Center, filing space vacated by other retailers.

Super Bowl fans to spend more on parties, gear this year

If you are having a Super Bowl party this year, you are probably going to spend a little more on food, supplies, and team gear.

CULVER CITY, CA - SEPTEMBER 09: The Super Bowl trophy on display during the NFL Media Event, the day before Kickoff to the 2015 Season on September 9, 2015 in Culver City, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
CULVER CITY, CA – SEPTEMBER 09: The Super Bowl trophy on display during the NFL Media Event, the day before Kickoff to the 2015 Season on September 9, 2015 in Culver City, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

According to the National Retail Federation, football fans are expected to spend slightly more than they did for the Super Bowl in 2015.

Viewers and partygoers will spend an average of $82.19 on food, décor, team apparel and more, up from $77.88 last year, according to the federation’s Super Bowl Spending Survey conducted by Prosper Insights and Analytics.

» RELATED: 5 best sports bars in Palm Beach County to watch Super Bowl 50

Total Super Bowl-related spending is expected to top $15.5 billion.

“Two great teams going head-to-head and a historic game celebrating the 50th Super Bowl could make this one of the most-celebrated football games we’ve seen in some time,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “We expect retailers will be aggressive with promotions on food and decorations as well as athletic wear and electronics in the coming days as they look to entice those planning to watch the Super Bowl.”

An estimated 188.9 million football fans plan to watch the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers battle it out for the Super Bowl 50 championship title on Sunday, up from the estimated 183.7 million who planned to watch last year, the federation said.

“The excitement around the Super Bowl this year should help retailers and restaurants kick off 2016 on a positive track,” Shay said.

Of those watching the game, the federation’s survey found:

  • 34.7 percent say the football game is the most important part of the day (85 million) while 17.7 percent say the commercials are (43.4 million), and another 4.5 percent say enjoying the fun food is the most important for them (11 million);
  • 43.3 million fans are planning to throw a Super Bowl party (17.7%) while another 70 million say they’d rather let their friends and relatives do the hosting and attend one instead (28.6%);
  • 79.8 percent of partygoers and viewers will purchase food;
  • 7.7 percent of Americans are planning to purchase a new television to enjoy the game – (similar to last year’s 8.8 percent), which could amount to an estimated 8.6 million new televisions;
  • 11.1 percent of those planning to watch the game will buy new team apparel and/or accessories – an estimated 20.9 million new items purchased;
  • Nearly eight in 10 (78.6%) Americans say they view the commercials during the Super Bowl as entertainment, while 17.5 percent say they make them aware of advertisers’ brands, and 10.3 percent said they influence them to buy products from the advertisers.

Amazon: Cyber Monday sales up by more than 40 percent

More than 23 million items were ordered worldwide from sellers on Amazon on Cyber Monday, an increase of more than 40 percent from the online marketplace’s 2014 Cyber Monday sales, Amazon announced on Tuesday.

Eligible tax-free items purchased online during the holiday will remain tax exempt even if delivered at a later date.
Eligible tax-free items purchased online during the holiday will remain tax exempt even if delivered at a later date.

The company said its “Fulfillment by Amazon” service delivered more than 1 billion items worldwide in 2015.

During the holiday season, individuals and businesses selling on Amazon sold to more than 80 percent of Amazon customers worldwide who ordered a physical item, the company added.

“It’s never been easier for sellers, local merchants and artisans to grow their businesses on Amazon. With targeted advertising tools like Sponsored Products, access to Amazon’s fulfillment and customer service expertise through FBA, and new marketplaces like Handmade at Amazon and Amazon Home Services, businesses of all sizes can easily reach millions of customers around the world,” said Peter Faricy, VP for Amazon Marketplace. “2015 was a big year for sellers on Amazon. In fact, sellers added more new selection and shipped more items than in any previous year. We’re excited to build on that momentum as we continue to innovate on behalf of sellers and customers.”