Retailers are looking for love to boost sales
With sales a little sluggish after the holiday hoopla winding down, retailers are counting on Valentine's Day to give them the extra love they need to spice up their bottom line.
Retail sales typically fall about 4.4 per cent in February.
However, BMO Economics predicts we may see stronger sales for Valentine's Day due to stronger job growth at the tail end of 2012 bolstering consumer confidence.
But even though some retail sales may be in decline, there are still some sectors that are poised for gains, according to the report.
For instance, February sales of jewelry and watches have actually increased by 28 per cent over the past 16 years while cosmetics and fragrances have seen a 20 per cent increase.
In annual sales, the categories that experienced the largest growth over the last few years were candy (15 per cent); flowers (15 per cent); and jewelry (12 per cent).
If you're out shopping, Nick Mastromarco, Director, BMO Bank of Montreal, has this advice: "Canadians should maximize the value of their gift purchases by using a credit or debit card that offers rewards for every dollar spent. Added benefits often include purchase protection,extended warranties, zero liability and loyalty rewards."
Some smart tips for shoppers: know what you're looking for before you go shopping and make sure you price compare.
Make sure you spend only what you know you can afford. if you're planning on using a credit card, spend only what you know you can pay back by the due date. If you have already earned rewards through a reward program, shop using your rewards or earn extra rewards while you shop.
By Donna Donaldson, MSN Money
Are you planning on shopping for Valentine's Day?