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NRF sees only slight increase in Valentine’s Day spending

BY Staff Writer

Washington — Consumers aren’t quite ready to shell out the big bucks for their loved ones this Valentine’s Day as much as they were last year. The 2013 Valentine’s Day Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey conducted for the National Retail Federation by BIGinsight shows only a slight increase in expected sales this year with the average person planning to spend $130.97 on candy, cards, gifts and more, up from $126.03 last year. Total spending will reach $18.6 billion.

More than half (51.0%) of gift givers will buy candy, spending $1.6 billion in total, and another one-third (36.6%) will give flowers, with total spending expected to top $1.9 billion. Others will treat their special someone to jewelry (19.7%), spending more than $4.4 billion on diamonds, gold and silver.

An additional 15.6% will buy clothing, spending more than $1.6 billion. Fifteen percent of gift givers will buy gift cards, totaling to $1.5 billion.

The survey found that more than one-quarter (26.3%) of those celebrating plan to buy their gifts online, up from 19.3% last year and the most in the survey’s 10-year history. Other shoppers will seek out the perfect gift at discount stores (39.6%), department stores (33.2%), specialty stores (22.9%), floral shops (19.6%), jewelry stores (11.2%), specialty clothing stores (7.5%) and through catalogs (2.6%).

The average male will spend significantly more than the average woman this year. Men will spend an average of $175.61 on jewelry, flowers, a romantic evening out and more, while their counterparts will spend approximately $88.78.

Additionally, four in 10 (40.7%) smartphone owners will use their handhelds to shop for gifts, and 46.9% of tablet owners will use their devices to purchase items, research gift ideas and more.

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Tractor Supply outsources data center hosting to Peak 10

BY Staff Writer

Charlotte, N.C. — National IT infrastructure and cloud solutions provider Peak 10 Inc. has been selected to host the data center of Tractor Supply Co., the largest retail farm and ranch store chain in the United States.
Tractor Supply is leveraging 24/7 staff in Peak 10’s Nashville, Tenn., facility to maintain its data center environment. By bolstering its IT operations with Peak 10’s data center facilities and best-of-breed technologies, the retailer can support its growth plans, increase its agility, lower costs, improve performance and focus its internal resources on its core competency, retail.

“Our relationship with Peak 10 provides us with best in class IT infrastructure that is both highly available and conveniently located,” said James Callison, chief information officer for Tractor Supply Co., which operates more than 1,151 stores nationwide. “With our data center environment securely set up at Peak 10 Nashville, we are now able to dedicate our efforts to expanding our retail services for our customers knowing that our mission-critical data is in trusted hands.”

Peak 10 offers TSC the ability to flexibly and cost-effectively support its need to scale the business as it grows without significant capital expense.

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Facebook friends retailers with new gift card program

BY CSA STAFF

SAN FRANCISCO — Target has found a new friend in Facebook, as the retailer has become one of the first businesses to participate in the social network’s new gift card program.

According to a Reuters report, consumers can buy cards for their Facebook friends for use at four different businesses including Target, LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vitton SA’s Jamba Juice and Darden Restaurants Inc’s Olive Garden.

Citing Facebook’s earnings conference call, Reuters reported that Facebook is not expecting to generate substantial revenue from this service in the near term, but sees long-term potential for the program.

Click here for the full story from Reuters.

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