Washington–With three straight months of declines in U.S. retail sales blamed on the weather, economists are hoping that Easter, April 5, will spur a sales surge. And with 80% of American consumers saying that are looking forward to the holiday that could translate into good news at retailers’ registers.
According to the National Retail Federation’s Easter Spending Survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, the average person celebrating Easter will spend $140.62, slightly more than last year’s $137.46. Total spending for Easter, which includes purchases of apparel, decorations, gifts, candy, food, flowers and more, is expected to reach $16.4 billion.
“Easter will be the perfect segue into spring for both consumers and retailers who have longed for warmer weather for quite some time,” said NRF President/CEO Matthew Shay. “As one of the busiest times of year for several retail sectors and as shelves begin filling with both traditional spring and holiday merchandise, retailers are looking forward to welcoming shoppers with attractive promotions on home goods, garden equipment and traditional Easter items.”
Consumers this year will use Easter as the perfect opportunity to spruce up their spring wardrobes. According to the survey, 45% of those celebrating will purchase clothing, spending more than $2.9 billion on bright colored apparel items for themselves and their families. However, more people plan to buy food for the holiday: 85.7% will purchase food for a family meal or other festivity, spending more than $5.3 billion on Easter fare.
Fuel Interests in Celebration
Children and sweet-tooth craving adults will also purchase candy this Easter: 87.1% of those celebrating say they will buy candy, spending more than $2.2 billion on jelly beans, chocolate bunnies and flavorful chick-shaped Peeps. Consumers this holiday will also spend $2.4 billion on gifts, $1.1 billion on flowers, $998 million on decorations and $695 million on greeting cards.
With a laundry list of items to buy, 58.6% will head to discount stores to purchase their holiday merchandise. Another four in 10 (40.7%) will shop at department stores, while nearly one-quarter (23.8%) plan to shop at a local or small business. Additionally, 21.8% will head to a specialty store like a florist or jewelry store and 18.8% will shop online.
NRF for the first time asked consumers about the activities they are planning for Easter Sunday, and the survey found many of the traditional aspects of the holiday will be in play this year. The survey found nearly six in 10 (57.4%) plan to visit with friends and family, half (50.8%) will go to church and 12.9% plan to open gifts. Not forgetting the little ones, three in 10 (30.9%) adults will plan a special Easter egg hunt for the children in their lives. Additionally, 15% of those celebrating will opt out of doing dishes and head to a restaurant to celebrate the holiday and 24.1% will browse the Web throughout the day.
“Easter remains a beloved affair for consumers young and old, and this year it looks like families are ready to dig into their budgets to make the most of the special day,” said Prosper’s Principal Analyst Pam Goodfellow. “The warm weather should help fuel some interest in celebrations, especially given the record-breaking winter much of the country experienced the last several months.”
Busy Easter shoppers will take advantage of their mobile devices to help them find meal items, gifts, candy and more. According to the survey, 21.4% of those who own smartphones and are planning to celebrate Easter will use their phone to research products and/or compare prices, and another 13.5% will purchase items with their smartphone. Nearly one-quarter (24.9%) of tablet owners will research products and/or compare prices for their Easter needs on tablets; 16.6% will purchase something via their tablet.
* Total spending is an extrapolation of the U.S. population 18+
About the Survey
The NRF 2015 Easter Spending Survey conducted for NRF by Prosper Insights & Analytics was designed to gauge consumer behavior and shopping trends related to Easter spending. The poll of consumers was conducted from March 3 to 10.The consumer poll of 6,106 has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.3 percentage points. www.nrf.com