January 25, 2013, 10:40 AM

Dad beats Brad (Pitt) this Valentine’s Day

For Valentine’s Day, retailers aim to give shoppers—including moms—what they want.

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As husbands begin their quests to find that special something to woo their wives this Valentine's Day, they may only need to look within.

61% of moms say they would choose dad over some of the hottest celebrities on the market as their sweetheart this Valentine's Day, according to a poll of 2,000 members of Totsy.com, a private sale for moms. Of the stars that were chosen as the ultimate 2013 Valentine, Ryan Gosling topped the list with 10% of the vote, followed by Bradley Cooper (8%), George Clooney (6%) and Brad Pitt (5%).

When it comes to the gifts that retailers can actually sell, 74% of moms say they would love jewelry, 73% say the same about flowers and 61% would love chocolate or candy.

Several e-retailers are pulling out stops to market such items to romantic gift-seekers, hoping to rake in some cash from Cupid this year.

ProFlowers.com sent an e-mail to shoppers yesterday with a “secret sale” offering 20% off any order over $29, while flash-sale retailer Rue La La offered deep discounts Wednesday on flowers from 1-800 Flowers.com. Meanwhile, jewelry retailer Ross Simons launched a sweepstakes on social network Pinterest: Consumers who follow Ross Simons on the network and re-pin five Ross Simons items for other Pinterest users to see get a chance to win one of three $200 shopping sprees.

Gilt Groupe, another flash-sale retailer, launched a “Red wine for your Valentine” limited-time sale yesterday. Kohls.com promoted its Valentine’s Day gift shop via e-mail this week. And Overstock.com highlighted special Valentine’s Day-themed jewelry featuring words like “Love” and “Kiss” in an e-mail this week as well.

The Totsy survey suggests dads might want to take advantage of some of those deals and offers.  64% of moms polled say they love Valentine's Day, 35% are indifferent and only 1% would rather not celebrate it. Meanwhile, 86% of moms say they will have a perfect Valentine's Day by simply getting a sweet gift from a partner to show he cares or a having a romantic rendezvous with their significant other.

If significant others go the romantic rendezvous route, they should stop before getting too intimate with their gifts.  Over half of moms either hate (14%) or are indifferent (43%) to receiving lingerie as a gift.

When recalling their favorite Valentine's celebrations, 34% of moms say amazing romance took the cake, and the same number noted it happened during a night out without the kids. 19% indicate exciting new life experiences made for the most memorable holiday and 5% say their best Valentine's Day was the one on which they conceived their kids. The majority of moms say the best way to ruin the holiday is for their partner to forget (32%), being alone (25%) or being too busy to celebrate (23%).

Another poll shows retailers selling vacuum cleaners may be out of luck this Valentine’s Day. An online poll of 515 Facebook fans of coupon search engine ShopAtHome.com from Jan. 16-Jan. 23 finds 23% of those polled would like a romantic night out on the town, but less than 4% would like a vacuum.

Additionally, the majority of women polled believe that their better halves procrastinate on present-buying. While 69% of females polled say they begin planning their gifts one to three weeks in advance, 56% think their significant others will plan two or less days beforehand.  38% of women believe they will receive a gift that appears it was purchased at the last minute.

Some forget the holiday altogether. Nearly 26% of all those polled have forgotten about the holiday in the past or decided not to celebrate.

For those who do plan to celebrate, most think it's OK to use a coupon in the process, the survey finds. Around 88% of respondents believe that using a coupon on a gift is appropriate and 60% say buying anything without a coupon is a major misstep. When going out, 88% believe it's thrifty, not tacky, to pull out a coupon. Meanwhile, it’s the thought that counts, respondents say, as 95% believe that evidence of time and thoughtfulness spent on the gift is much more important than the price tag.

For those stumped on what to buy, the survey finds that 23% of respondents would like a gift card to their favorite store this year and the same percentage would like dinner and a movie. Women specifically, the poll reveals, appreciate surprises. 38% of women think they’ll get flowers and chocolate, but only 11% indicated those gifts are what they want.

ProFlowers is part of Provide Commerce, a subsidiary of Liberty Interactive Corp. which is No. 7 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide. Rue La La is No. 84; Ross Simons, 184; Gilt Groupe, 49; Kohl’s Corp., 28 and Overstock.com Inc., 27.

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