Valentine’s Day 2018 Shopping Tips From Mays Business School

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By Andrew Vernon, Texas A&M University Mays Business School

Valentine’s spending looks to enjoy a similar boost as seen with the 2017 holiday season, the most since the Great Recession of 2009. Strong indicators include a roaring stock market, low unemployment, and high consumer confidence.

“Shoppers opened their wallets more than analysts expected this past Christmas, with many retailers exceeding sales projections. Both retailers and consumers are beginning 2018 with more optimism,” said Kelli Hollinger, director of the Center for Retailing Studies. “For Valentine’s Day romantics looking to spend on their sweethearts, retailers will offer promotions for top-gifting items, like candy, flowers, and jewelry that fit any budget.”

Create something memorable
Experiences remain popular, even when the sweetheart in your life is a furry friend. PetSmart is hosting pup playtime 9-5 on Valentine’s Day in select markets. Doggie desserts include a free ice cream treat, and pet parents get a free digital keepsake.

If day trips are more appealing than diamonds, shoppers seeking experiences can book special romance packages like some of the options from Groupon, Travelzoo or Renaissance Hotels.

Personalized gifts such as one-of-a-kind socks emblazoned with couple’s names or even faces, like those available at sockprints.com, add a little humor to gifting.

For a special night out, online sources like OpenTable are helpful for finding local restaurants with special menu items and promotions for Feb. 14.

Online and mobile shopping continue trending upward
More consumers will shop with their thumbs by browsing and buying more than ever on their mobile devices. Trendsetter Magnolia Market is featuring special selections for Valentine’s Day. Online purchasing offers added convenience this season. Texas grocer H-E-B offers in-store pickup or delivery with floral orders.

Tech gifts are in vogue
Besides traditional Valentine’s Day surprises, tech and mobile accessories have become popular items for both men and women. Online retailing giant Amazon is featuring deals on hundreds of tech selections, from headphones and smart watches to romantic-themed movies.

Don’t forget the favorites
Classic Valentine’s Day gifts including cards, candy, dining out, and flowers will still top many lovers’ shopping lists.

This story is originally posted on Texas A&M Today.