February 17, 2003, 12:00 AM

Even online shoppers go with Valentine stand-bys

The most searched-for items in BizRate.com’s gifts, flowers and food category were chocolate, long-stemmed roses, and Valentine love baskets.

Tradition wins over innovation in online Valentine shopping, reports comparison shopping site BizRate.com. The most searched-for items in BizRate’s gifts, flowers and food category were chocolate, long-stemmed roses, and Valentines love baskets. In the luxury category, list-toppers included platinum diamond rings, Cartier, Dior and Bose Wave Radios.

Leading up to Valentine’s Day, the biggest shopping days were Feb. 10, when online shoppers spent $181.1 million online, Feb. 9, when they spent $172.6 million and Feb. 5 when they spent $170 million, BizRate reports.

BizRate says 45% of customers reported they would send e-mail Valentine Cards this year. Interestingly, more women--58%--said they would send e-greeting cards than men--38%.

Activity at several web sites contacted by InternetRetailer.com reflected the trends noted by BizRate. At Shari`s Berries International`s Berries.com, web sales related to Valentine`s Day were up 25% over last year, a spokesman says. Berries.com sells oversized California strawberries dipped in chocolate and sold in several arrangements, including a Valentine`s favorite made to appear like a bouquet of roses.

At KCFlorist.com, owner Gregg Katz says sales for the week leading up to Valentine`s Day were up 25% over the same period last year.

 

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