By Michelle Graff
New York--More than 20 percent of shoppers plan on purchasing jewelry this Valentine’s Day, spending a total of $4.8 billion on the category, the National Retail Federation said. 

This is the highest amount to be spent on jewelry since the NRF started tracking Valentine’s spending 12 years ago.

According to the NRF’s Valentine’s Day Consumer Spending survey, the average person celebrating the holiday this year will spend $142.31, up from $133.91 in 2013.

Total spending from consumers for Valentine’s Day is expected to reach $18.9 billion, which also is a survey high, NRF said, also noting that consumers will continue to look for deals and affordable options for gifts.

In addition to jewelry, more than 53 percent said that they would buy candy, spending a total of $1.7 billion; 38 percent indicated that they would buy flowers ($2.1 billion); and 35 percent said they would spend for a night out, like movies and restaurants ($3.6 billion).

Consumers also are expected to spend nearly $2 billion on clothing and $1.5 billion on gift cards.

The most-visited locations where consumers will go to shop are expected to be department stores (37 percent) and discount stores (35 percent), followed by specialty stores (19 percent) and florists (19 percent).

One in four also indicated that they would do some shopping online and 13 percent will shop at a local or small business to find that special gift for the holiday.

“It’s great to see consumers coming out of their shell this year, looking to spend discretionary budgets on those they love once again, though I fully expect many to continue to look for ways to cut costs where they can,” said Prosper Insights Principal Analyst Pam Goodfellow. “While many will splurge, some will still look for simple and affordable ways to show their appreciation for friends and family and celebrate in a way they are most comfortable with.” 

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