NRF: St. Patrick’s Day to Bring Green to Retailers This Year?

St. Patrick's DayWashington–St. Patrick’s Day may not have the gift-giving attributes that Valentine’s Day and other holidays have, but the “wearing of the green” and other traditions associated with the Irish holiday will be in full force this year.

March 17 may fall on a Sunday but don’t expect that to hamper some 133 million Americans from celebrating St. Patrick’s Day–and shopping ahead for the celebration.

Indeed, according to the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) St. Patrick’s Day Spending Survey, the average person will spend $35.27 on green attire, décor for their home and office, and festive food and drinks (especially drinks!). Total spending is expected to grow to $4.7 billion.*

“St. Patrick’s Day is the perfect reminder that spring is right around the corner, and given the type of winter many Americans have had, it’s safe to say consumers are ready to shake off their winter blues with a little green,” said Matthew Shay, NRF president/ceo. “With Easter falling only two short weeks behind St. Patrick’s Day this year, many retailers have already lined their shelves with baskets, candy and bright-colored apparel. Budget-conscious shoppers will look for promotions ahead of time hoping to kill two birds with one stone, shopping for Easter gifts while picking out shamrock-themed decorations.”

Emerald Green is Pantone’s Color of the Year

Emerald: 2013 Color of the YearThe survey found eight in 10 (84.2%) will celebrate by wearing green, hoping to avoid the traditional pinches that come to those who neglect to dress the part. This year it shouldn’t be hard to find suitable green apparel and accessories since Pantone named Emerald (Pantone 17-5641)—described as “lively, radiant, lush green” as in the Emerald Isle itself—as 2013 Color of the Year.

Besides adorning themselves, an additional 23.3% plan to decorate their home or office, and 34.6% will make a special dinner.

According to the survey 19.5% of consumers who plan to celebrate this year will attend a private party, and 27.4% will attend a party at a bar or restaurant.

“There’s no question that this holiday resonates most with younger adults, but even mom and dad will get in the spirit this year by making special plans for a night in, or visit with friends and neighbors for the afternoon,” said Pam Goodfellow, BIGinsight Consumer Insights director. “For many, sticking to a budget will mean weighing their needs and wants and even looking around the house for fun, festive items they can reuse like green beads, Irish-themed pins and buttons and home décor items.” (Editor’s Note: For some current examples of emerald-themed accessories, don’t miss our Trend Finder: Emerald Green.)

Retailers would be wise to target St. Patrick’s oriented merchandise to different demographics, too. While young adults ages 18 to 24 may be the age group planning the most celebrations (77.3%), the 35- to 44-year-olds will be the ones spending the most at an average of $41.68. Coming in a very close second, spending an average of $41.58 will be adults ages 25 to 34.

The NRF 2013 St. Patrick’s Day Spending Survey, conducted by BIGinsight, was designed to gauge consumer behavior and shopping trends related to St. Patrick’s Day. The poll of 5,185 consumers was conducted from February 5 to13. The consumer poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.4 percentage points. www.nrf.com

*  Total extrapolation of U.S. population 18+

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Jeff Prine

Jeff Prine, Editor at Large, Accessories Magazine
Jeff returns as a regular contributor to Accessories magazine. Initially Jeff worked as senior editor at Accessories more than 20 years ago and his love of the industry has followed him until present. Since his tenure here, Jeff has continued to report jewelry, watch and other luxury goods trends as executive editor at Modern Jeweler magazine, fashion director at Lustre, and as contributor on products and trends for consumer and trade publications and websites. In addition to his editorial experience, Jeff also served as an adjunct instructor for accessories merchandising at Fashion Institute of Technology. jeffp@busjour.com