Valentine’s Day spending expected to dip

American shoppers are expected to spend $18.2 billion on Valentine’s Day this year, down from a record $19.7 billion in 2016, according to the National Retail Federation.

Planning to get Mom flowers for Mother's Day? Check out local flower shops before you head online. (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images for ASDA)
Planning to get Mom flowers for Mother’s Day? Check out local flower shops before you head online. (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images for ASDA)

Shoppers are expected to spend an average of $136.57 on Valentine’s Day items, down from last year’s record-high of $146.84.

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“Valentine’s Day continues to be a popular gift-giving occasion even if consumers are being more frugal this year,” said Matthew Shay, the federation’s President and CEO. “This is one day of the year when millions find a way to show their loved ones they care regardless of their budget. Consumers will find that retailers recognize that their customers are looking for the best deals and will offer good bargains just as they did during the holiday season.”

Although Valentine’s Day spending has steadily climbed over the past decade, the federation said its annual Valentine’s Day spending survey found the number of people who plan to celebrate the holiday has dropped by nearly 10 percentage points over the same period.

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This year’s survey found consumers plan to spend an average $85.21 on their significant other or spouse; $26.59 on other family members such as children or parents; $6.56 on children’s classmates and teachers; $6.51 on friends; $4.27 on co-workers; and $4.44 on pets.

Experienced-based gifts such as tickets to a concert or sporting event, a gym membership or an outdoor adventure, are popular this year, the federation said. Roughly 40 percent of shoppers want an experience gift, but only about 24 percent plan to give one, the survey found.

Halloween 2016: Superheroes beat out princesses for top costume spot

Superhero outfits are expected to surpass princess gear as the top Halloween costume for children this year, according to a new survey released by the National Retail Federation.  ASK-MARTHA-SUPERHERO-HALLOWEEN-COSTUMES-01_846228

Halloween spending on costumes is expected to reach $3.1 billion, with more than 3 million children expected to dress as their favorite action or superhero, the survey found.

Princess costumes have held the top spot for the last 11 years, but fell to number 2 in 2016, the federation said.

RELATED: Halloween spending expected to reach record level

This year, roughly 2.9 children are expected to dress as a princess, while another 2.5 million plan to dress as an animal.

Here is a look at this year’s top costumes, according to the federation’s survey:

Top costumes for kids

1. Action/Superhero
2. Princess
3. Animal (Cat, Dog, Lion, Monkey, etc.)
4. Batman Character
5. Star Wars Character
6. Tie: Witch AND DC Superhero (excl. Batman)
7. Frozen Character (Anna, Elsa, Olaf)
8. Marvel Superhero (excl. Spiderman)
9. Zombie
10. Spiderman

Top costumes for adults (18-34 years old)

1. Batman Character (Batman, Harley Quinn, The Joker, etc.)
2. Witch
3. Animal (Cat, Dog, Bunny, etc.)
4. Tie: Marvel Superhero (Deadpool, Spiderman, etc.) AND  DC Superhero (Wonder Woman, Superman, excl. Batman)
5. Vampire
6. Video Game Character
7. Slasher Movie Villain (Freddy, Jason, Michael Myers, etc.)
8. Pirate
9. Star Wars Character
10. Zombie

Top costumes for adults (over 35 years old)

1. Witch
2. Pirate
3. Political (Trump, Clinton, etc.)
4. Vampire
5. Batman Character (Batman, Catwoman, etc.)
6. Animal (Cat, Dog, Bunny, etc.)
7. Tie: DC Superhero (Superman, Wonder Woman, excl. Batman) and Star Wars Character
8. Tie: Ghost and Zombie
9. Scary Costume/Mask
10. Marvel Superhero (Iron Man, Hulk, Spiderman, etc.)

Top Pet Costumes

1. Pumpkin
2. Hot Dog
3. Bumble Bee
4. Tie: Lion and Star Wars Character
5. Devil
6. Batman Character
7. Witch
8. Superman
9. Action/Superhero
10. Cat

 

Halloween spending to reach record level, national retail group says

Halloween spending is expected to hit a record-breaking $8.4 billion this year, up 21.7 percent from 2015, according to the National Retail Federation.

103004-Stuart-Emily Bodenheimer, 2, checks out her candy load while she and her sisters "Trick or Treat" the merchants of downtown Stuart after the 6th annual Hobgoblin Parade on Osceola Street Saturday. Children, lead by the Stuart Fire Department, paraded through downtown Stuart in their Halloween costumes. Meghan McCarthy/Staff Photographer
103004-Stuart-Emily Bodenheimer, 2, checks out her candy load while she and her sisters “Trick or Treat” the merchants of downtown Stuart after the 6th annual Hobgoblin Parade on Osceola Street Saturday. Children, lead by the Stuart Fire Department, paraded through downtown Stuart in their Halloween costumes. Meghan McCarthy/Staff Photographer

More than 171 million Americans planning to celebrate the holiday this year, spending an average of $82.93, up from last year’s $74.34, according to a survey conducted on behalf of the federation.

The 2016 spending forecast marks the highest projection in the survey’s history.

RELATED: Halloween City opens at Palm Beach Outlets 

“After a long summer, families are excited to welcome the fall season celebrating Halloween,” said Matthew Shay, the federation’s president and CEO. “Retailers are preparing for the day by offering a wide variety of options in costumes, decorations and candy, while being aggressive with their promotions to capture the most out of this shopping event.”

Shoppers are expected spend $3.1 billion on costumes; $2.5 billion on candy; $2.4 billion on decorations; and $390 million on greeting cards, the survey found.

 

Deal experts: 4th of July sales bring savings on summer staples

The 4th of July is a great time to stock up on summer staples, including warm-weather clothing, patio furniture and swim suits, according to the bargain hunting experts at DealNews.com.

Getty Images
Getty Images

Retailers typically start looking to clear out summer inventory to make room for back to school items around the 4th of July holiday, according to the deal website.

This year, shoppers can expect to find discounts on summer items during 4th of July sales, the website said.

Although patio items will be on sale for the holiday weekend, DealNews said its best to wait to purchase new grills until the end of the summer when prices are at their lowest.

To read more about what to expect from 4th of July sales, click here.

 

 

 

 

 

St. Patrick’s Day spending expected to decline

St. Patrick’s Day revelers are expected to spend slightly less than they did last year, according to a study released Tuesday by the National Retail Federation.

More than 125 million Americans plan to celebrate the holiday, spending an average of $35.37 per person, down slightly from last year’s $36.52, the study found.  20140315_met_stpats_018
Total St. Patrick’s Day spending is expected to reach $4.4 billion, the federation said.

“Retailers expect to see a nice boost in sales as consumers head to stores looking for apparel, decorations, food and beverages to help make their St. Patrick’s Day celebrations special,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “With the winter holidays behind us and spring flowers starting to bloom, St. Patrick’s Day provides a perfect opportunity for Americans to get together to celebrate with friends and family.”

The study, which surveyed 7,108 consumers, was conducted in February by Prosper Insight and Analytics.

According to the findings, 82.1 percent will wear green to show their Irish pride, 31.3 percent plan to make a special dinner, 28.7 percent will head to a party at a bar or restaurant and 21.1 percent will attend a private party. In addition, 22.8 percent plan to decorate their homes or offices in an Irish theme.

 

Culture-related spending in PBC topped $538 million last year

Palm Beach County’s 19 largest cultural institutions attracted audience members that spent a total of $538.3 million here last year, according to study results released last week by county tourism officials.

A traditional Dragon Dance was performed by Lee Koon Hung Kung Fu Chinese Martial Arts Association at the Norton Museum of Art as part of its Chinese New Year Celebration Saturday, February 13, 2016. (Bruce R. Bennett / Daily News)
A traditional Dragon Dance was performed by Lee Koon Hung Kung Fu Chinese Martial Arts Association at the Norton Museum of Art as part of its Chinese New Year Celebration Saturday, February 13, 2016. (Bruce R. Bennett / Daily News)

According to the study, which was released Thursday by the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County, culture-related spending at those 19 institutions supported an estimated total of 11,795 full-time jobs in Palm Beach County, generating $226 million in resident household income, $22.1 million in local government revenues, and $25.9 million in state government revenues.

The study found that cultural tourists who traveled to the county accounted for more than 64 percent of the spending. Cultural tourists stayed accounted for an estimated 730,000 nightly hotel room stays in Palm Beach County last year.

Cultural tourists spent nearly twice as much per person as resident attendees on purchases such as admissions, meals, retail shopping and souvenirs, local transportation, and lodging, the study found.

“This study demonstrates the importance of Palm Beach County’s cultural institutions to our local and state economy, and the contribution that arts and culture adds to jobs and income in our communities. With more than 200 cultural organizations, Palm Beach County is Florida’s Cultural Capital, attracting cultural tourists from around the state and around the world and playing a more vital role than ever in the lives of residents,” Rena Blades, president & CEO of the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County, said. “Keeping our cultural institutions viable, active and attractive to tourists plays a critical role in Palm Beach County’s economic welfare.”

The study focused on 19 cultural organizations including: Armory Arts Center, Boca Raton Historical Society, Boca Raton Museum of Art, Delray Beach Center for the Arts, FAU Foundation, Inc., Flagler Museum, Kravis Center, Loggerhead Marinelife Center, Maltz Jupiter Theatre, Miami City Ballet, The Morikami, Norton Museum of Art, Palm Beach Dramaworks, Palm Beach Opera, Palm Beach Photographic Centre, Palm Beach State College, South Florida Science Center, SunFest of Palm Beach County, and The Zoological Society of the Palm Beaches.