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The National Retail Federation (NRF) has released a new pre-Valentine’s Day survey suggesting that the average consumer will spend $100.89 on Valentine's Day, up slightly from $97.27 last year. With 60.9 percent of consumers planning to celebrate the holiday, total 2006 Valentine's Day spending is expected to reach $13.70 billion, an increase from $13.19 billion in 2005.

Men will be the biggest spenders this Valentine’s Day, with the average male spending $135.67, almost double the $68.64 that the average female will spend. When it comes to picking out that perfect gift, fewer men will be buying flowers (52.3 % vs. 57.8% in 2005) and more will be purchasing jewelry (22.4% vs. 18.1% in 2005).

Greeting cards once again remain a holiday favorite for both sexes. According to the survey, 62.0 percent of consumers plan to purchase at least one card for the holiday. Close to half of consumers will celebrate by buying candy (47.1%) or enjoying an evening out with their sweetheart (42.1%). Other popular gifts include flowers (32.9%), jewelry (14.6%) and gift cards/gift certificates (10.9%).
KC's View:
Is the moral of this story that men love women twice as much as women love men? Or that we guys have twice as much to make up for when Valentine’s Day rolls around?

We dare not speculate.

Incidentally, the folks at NRF clearly weren’t hip to yesterday’s story about how fast feeder White Castle is taking reservations from customers for candlelight dinners to be served on Valentine’s Day – the promotion is geared for people who may have had first dates at White Castle.

You can buy a lot of burgers for $100.89.

We noted in response to that story yesterday that “Mrs. Content Guy is a very forgiving and patient person. But if we took her to White Castle for a first date, there wouldn’t have been a second date. And if we took her there for Valentine’s Day…well, there would have been arrows and hearts involved, but not in the romantic sense.”

We got a number of emails in response to this story and commentary, and one of them is posted below in “Your Views.” But there was one that we have to tell you about here because it is appropriate…and it because it made us laugh out loud:

You’re so out of it. Lips that don’t crave sliders will never be mine.

Ought to put that on a card…