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Shoppers buy gifts for Valentine's Day

National Retail Federation predicts average person spends about $143

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Valentine's Day is Saturday and next to Christmas and Black Friday, retailers said it's one of the top grossing holidays.

But the real question isn't how much you spend, it's about what you are planning to buy.

It's known as the day of love, but there is always the question how do you express what you are feeling?

The National Retail Federation predicts that the average person either has already or will spend just under $143 for their sweetheart by Saturday at midnight.

Most of the gifts are also predictable. If you are giving or receiving, chances are it will be in the top three categories: flowers, jewelry and the heavy hitter, candy. The favorite candy is chocolate, which was found at a local Peterbrooke store.

"Chocolate-covered popcorn, got to do that here. And chocolate covered strawberries and chocolate covered potato chips and maybe some peanut butter chocolate," said Lisa Reinke.

"This is for my girlfriend who is pregnant right now, so absolutely its perfect timing -- she needs some good munchies right now," said Michael Bostwick.

As always, there is a lot of stopping to smell the roses. An estimated $2 billion are being spent on Valentine flowers, representing about 40 percent of all the "I love you" gifts.

It was so busy Friday at Flowerama in Mandarin, it called police to direct the heavy traffic and more of the same is expected Saturday.

"Come on in. We've got plenty of flowers. We have a whole trailer full back here and we'll be here until 7 p.m. (Saturday) night. We open at 8 a.m. Just come on in. You'll find something," said Frank Smetake.

Because more men give jewelry gifts, men on average tend to outspend women $200 versus $100. There are lots of other choices, of course, and not all of them are at the malls.

"Every time I come out here they have beautiful baskets. I really like them because I came by here last year and I always seen the gift baskets they look so cute," said Beverly Wilson. "So I decided to stop by here and pick one up, and every time I come by here it's nice."

We always hear with any gift, it's the thought that counts and Saturday, it's the love that counts. A surprising top gift this year has been spy gifts. Many people are buying inconspicuous gifts like hidden cameras for their significant others. The most popular gifts are GPS tracking devices.


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