Love may be blind — but it’s not free. In fact, Americans are planning to spend big bucks this Valentine’s Day to show their significant others that they care, according to a new report.
The National Retail Federation forecasts that love-struck consumers will spend 8.5 percent more on Valentine’s Day this year, bringing the average spending to $126.03 per person, or a total of $17.6 billion.
Men will once again be the big spenders, shelling out almost twice as much for women in the elusive hunt for the ideal gift, the NRF said.
But once Cupid has helped you snag your true love, where do you buy the present that will make your other half swoon. To help you out, we’ve found a variety of “his” and “hers” gifts — for whatever type of sweetie is in your life.
Click ahead to see some Valentine’s Day gift ideas.
By Katie LittlePosted 1 Feb 2012
For Her: Gold Octet Key Pendant Price: $700 for Key, $175 for Chain
Jewelry spending is expected to rise to $4.1 billion, up from $3.5 billion last year, according to the NRF. If your significant other is a jewelry lover, a Tiffany key could be just the gilded splurge to display your affection.
If your Valentine is not a gold enthusiast, the company’s keys also come in several other metals, including platinum and sterling silver.
For Him: Silver WiFi Hotspot and USB Cufflinks
Price: $250 per pair
With 2GB of storage capacity and their own WiFi hotspot, these polished silver cufflinks are both functional and fashionable. Perfect for the on-the-go business traveler, this gift is compatible with Windows machines and can be engraved.
For Her: Leopard & Lace Chemise
Spending on clothing and lingerie is forecast to increase 2.8 percent this year to $1.2 billion, said Nikoleta Panteva, a retail analyst at IBISWorld. This category is expected to underperform total Valentine’s Day sales partly because the holiday will fall during the workweek this year. Instead of celebrating by spending a night in, couples are more likely to spend a night out and less likely to splurge on lingerie.
Featured here is a leopard and lace chemise from Frederick’s of Hollywood.
For Him: Kimono Cotton Velour Robe
This kimono-inspired robe by Polo Ralph Lauren could be ideal for men who want to relax after a long Valentine’s Day of wining and dining or for those who plan on celebrating the holiday with a night at home. Sold at department stores, including Bloomingdales, this knee-length cotton robe comes in navy.
For Her: Car Gadget Charger
Is your sweetheart suffering from the affliction: “too many gadgets and not enough outlets to charge them?” This gift from redenvelope.com offers a solution. This charger, which is disguised as a coffee cup and can fit into a car cup holder, has two AC outlets for laptops, DVD players, phone chargers or camera chargers and one USB power port for cell phones, iPods or MP3 players.
For Him: '80s Cell Phone Case
Valentine’s Day spending is back, and so are the 1980s. With this retro cellphone, your significant other can channel his inner Gordon Gekko. And at $15, this Urban Outfitters’ gift will not break the bank. With the leftover cash, you could even add a pair of suspenders to complete the look!
For Her: Cast Iron Fondue Set
Consumers are forecasted to spend an estimated $3.6 billion on gifts for an evening out, the NRF said. For those couples who would rather celebrate at home, this foodie gift from Crate & Barrel is perfect for whipping up a Valentine’s Day staple — fondue. With eight forks, this dishwasher-safe set will enable you to enjoy a fondue with chocolate or cheese to your heart’s content. It’s even sturdy enough to withstand the higher temperatures needed for a fondue with meat or seafood in oil.
For Him: Monogrammed Stainless-Steel Beverage Bucket
Temperatures can rise pretty quickly if your true love burns eternal. Help your Valentine keep things cool with this beverage bucket from Williams-Sonoma. Made in Italy, this stainless-steel bucket can hold eight bottles and four to six pounds of ice. It can also be engraved with a single- or triple-initial monogram.
For Her: Lululemon Deep Breath Tank
Is your Valentine lacking some Zen this time of year? This yoga tank could be the key to getting rid of her stress and showing her that you care. Breathable and moisture-wicking, this top is available in a variety of colors and patterns, and will have your honey chanting “Om” in no time.
For Him: Garmin Approach G6
If your beloved’s other true love is hitting the links, the Approach G6 could be just the gift to wow him. Its digital scorecard can keep track of as many as four golfers’ strokes, and it tracks your Valentine’s average distance hit with each club.
For Her: Tory Burch passport holder
Consumers are expected to spend an estimated $2.3 billion this holiday on romantic getaways, according to IBISWorld. If your trip to lovers’ lane requires more traveling than going to the local bed-and-breakfast, this passport holder from Tory Burch could be the ideal gift.
For Him: Spark Tablet Case & Charger
Looking for a more environmentally friendly way to charge your tablet? The case charges iPads, most other tablets, phone and professional digital cameras. After roughly 10 hours in direct sunlight, this gift will be able to fully charge an iPad. But fret not if your Valentine spends his 9-to-5 indoors — the case can also recharge using a USB port.
For Him and Her:Stock Ticker for the Home Price: starting at $4,380 for 6-foot ticker, $1,800 per year for financial data, $1,150 for optional installation
Have a significant other who lives and breathes finance? Well, here is your chance to turn your sweetheart’s room or office into a miniature stock exchange. This gift from Rise Display is the priciest gift in our guide, but your Valentine may find that staying up-to-date on recent markets moves is priceless.