NRF: Independence Day is Big Business

Washington—Parades, picnics and fireworks are a tradition when celebrating the Fourth of July, but consumers also tend to shop for patriotic merchandise, an opportunity for retailers, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF).

Renewed Sense of Pride

In its annual Independence Day survey, conducted by BIGresearch for NRF, data should give retailers reason to celebrate, too. This year, 20.1% of consumers will buy patriotic merchandise, such as a hat or T-shirt, up from 16.2% last year. Although the summer heat is upon us, 64.4% of celebrants will host or attend a cookout or picnic, up from 61.9% last year.  When it comes to other traditional celebrations, nearly half (44.7%) plan to watch fireworks or attend a community celebration.

Shopping and admiring fireworks won’t be the only items on the “to-do” list for many families. the NRF found. More are also planning on traveling or taking a vacation. “Despite high gas prices, 31 million people will pack up their beach gear, sunscreen, visors, flip flops and shorts for a summer getaway, up from 27 million people who took advantage of the three-day weekend last year.”

Noting that Osama bin Laden is no longer a threat, the survey showed Americans have a renewed sense of pride, also evident by the patriotic merchandise found in many American households. In 2011, nearly 126 million people said they have a flag, up from 124 million in 2010. Eighty-nine million have U.S.-themed apparel, up from 86 million last year, and the number of people who own patriotic decor also increased significantly from 2010 (62 million vs. 56 million last year).

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