The following appeared in the Feb. 9, 2009, edition of The Dallas Morning News. SMU Marketing Professor Dan Howard of Cox School of Business provided expertise for this story.
February 11, 2009
By Maria Halkias
The Dallas Morning News
Valentine's Day is Saturday and struggling retailers and restaurateurs are counting on big hearts to lead spenders through their doors.
The National Retail Federation's 2009 Valentine's Day Consumer Intentions and Actions survey, conducted by BIGresearch, found that consumers plan to spend an average $102.50 on Valentine's gifts and merchandise, down from last year's $122.98 per person.
Total Valentine's Day spending is expected to reach $14.7 billion vs. last year's estimate of $17.02 billion.
Southern Methodist University Cox School of Business marketing professor Dan Howard suggests the recession won't hurt sales of the top four Valentine's Day gifts: cards, candy, flowers, and romantic dinners.
Howard, an expert in consumer research and behavior, says anyone who can't spring for "a card or a bit of candy this year because of the economy needs much more than simply financial counseling."
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