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Valentines Splurging and Saving

By Cyndi Lundeberg
By clundeberg@wbbjtv.com

JACKSON, Tenn. - Last Valentines Day, Americans spent $17billion on gifts. The most popular presents were jewelry, lingerie and chocolates.

Whether splurging or saving this holiday, many west Tennesseans are out and about. Employees at Old Hickory Mall say the mall has not been this busy since the holidays.

Dionne Thomas is a jewelry specialist at JC Penney said sales have doubled, even tripled this week.

"We've been over our sales goal everyday this week. We've been 50 percent to 30 percent over our daily goals," she said.

But in these economic times many are looking for ways to still get their loved ones presents but maybe on a budget, others are looking to splurge on their significant others this holiday.

"90 percent of the people shopping are shopping for Valentines Day," said Thomas.

Thomas said even if shopping on a budget there are plenty of popular gifts to get your significant other. She recommends jewelry from the clearance section.

"We've got a lot of items in our clearance department, just beautiful, beautiful gifts, just at discounted prices."

She said another popular Valentines Day gift, might be for certain eyes only. Valentines Day lingerie can cost as little as $10.

If you have a more flexible budget, specialty jewelry shops. Britt Hill of Reed's Jewelers said you can not put a price on showing someone you care.

"There's no limit to what you can splurge on we've got pieces 3,4,
$5,000 that would be really nice," he said.

The other popular Valentines Day question is where to eat. In Jackson, the Olive Garden on Vann Drive said a couple can get an entire Italian meal for $25.

At the other extreme, the new Italian eatery Bessos is still taking reservations.

"It's $100 a couple to come in its great for date night its a five course meal, really a romantic meal," said Adam Beaver, Bessos Restaurant manager.

Olive Garden said tomorrow they expect to see quadruple their regular number of customers, because of that wait times are expected to be at least an hour.

Bessos said their restaurant will be open for walk-ins.

"If you wanna impress your boss you bring him here, you wanna impress you're new girlfriend, this is where you come to eat. Your wive's been taking care of you for 30 years and wanna thank her you bring her here," said Beaver.

Putting your last minute Valentines Day shopping off could mean a crowd. And local restaurants are suggesting call for reservations as soon as possible.
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