Easter spending expected to increase

April 13, 2011
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April 13, 2011 - Not since 1943 have we seen an Easter fall this late in the calendar, but it seems the delayed holiday won’t impact consumers’ eagerness to spend on décor, food and even new spring apparel. According to NRF’s 2011 Easter Consumer Intentions and Actions survey in the U.S., conducted by BIGresearch, the average consumer is expected to spend $131.04 on everything from candy to clothes – up from last year’s $118.60 but not quite to pre-recession levels. Total spending on Easter related merchandise is expected to reach $14.6 billion.

“Due to such a late holiday, Easter promotions will last all spring long,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “Though lingering concerns over food and energy prices may keep shoppers from splurging, retailers are expecting consumers to stock up on apparel, home décor and of course food and candy, a good sign leading into the much busier and important months to come.”

Food and candy will account for most of a consumer’s budget, bringing in $2.1 billion in candy sales and $4.5 billion in food sales alone. The average person will spend slightly more on each than they did last year - $18.55 on candy, compared to $17.29 last year, and $40.05 on food, up from $37.45 last year.

Many Americans will take advantage of retailers’ spring sales to buy new clothing for the entire family. The average celebrant will spend $21.51 on colorful new apparel, up from last year’s $19.03 and totaling $2.4 billion in sales. Additionally, consumers will spend an average of $9.02 on flowers, $8.00 on decorations and $6.79 on greeting cards. Children looking forward to a visit from the Easter bunny this year are in for a treat: spending on gifts will reach an average of $19.89, totaling $2.2 billion.

Department (36.6%) and discount stores (62.6%) will be the most popular shopping destinations for Easter gifts this year, though specialty stores carrying flowers, jewelry and electronic merchandise will also see their share of traffic (22.4%). Others will shop at specialty clothing stores (8.1%), online (14.8%) and through a catalog (3.5%).

“When out shopping for their Easter meals, many Americans will also be swayed by other items that remind them of warm weather celebrations, including apparel and home and garden accents,” said Phil Rist, Executive Vice President, Strategic Initiatives, BIGresearch. “While spending is expected to improve from the past two years, families are still sticking to a budget with an eagle eye on low prices.”

The survey also found that Easter’s biggest spenders will be 25-34 year-olds ($173.41 vs. $136.79 last year) and young adults 18-24 ($145.12 vs. $125.85). Thirty-five to 44 year olds will spend an average of $138.55, followed by 45-54 year olds ($122.15) and 55-64 year olds ($113.32).

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