Mirror photo by Walt Frank / Debbie Arnsparger, owner of Creative Expressions Florists, works on an arrangement of yellow roses.

Coming off a strong holiday season, Americans are expected to set another record for Valentine’s Day spending this year as they continue to widen the range of those they’re buying for, according to the annual survey released by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics. “Valentine’s Day is a sentimental tradition, but gift giving can be driven by the economy,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said in a statement. “Consumers spent freely during the 2019 winter holidays and they appear ready to do the same in the new year. The same strong employment numbers and higher wages that boosted holiday sales should make it easier to spend a little extra to say ‘I love you’ this year and to spread the gift-giving beyond just your significant other.” Those celebrating the holiday said they plan to spend an average $196.31, up 21 percent over last year’s previous record of $161.96. Spending is expected to total $27.4 billion, up 32 percent from last year’s record $20.7 billion, according to the survey. Consumers are expected to spend $5.8 billion on jewelry. “We expect to be busy. We had record spending in January, which is usually a soft retail month. Valentine’s Day helps bring in a larger number of customers, but people spend less than for Christmas. It is a lower price point holiday,” said President Michael Kranich Jr. of Kranich’s Jewelers, which has stores in Altoona, State College and Johnstown. “We are running a small diamond pendant for $99 — that points back to the lower price point holiday.” “Valentine’s Day usually gives us a bump in sales for sure. It is probably behind the Christmas season and Mother’s […]