Americans Shell Out More for Easter: Study

According to the National Retail Federation’s Easter spending survey, conducted by BIGinsight, Americans will spend an average of $145.28 on everything, including candy, food, decorations and apparel, this year, up 11 percent from $131.04 last year. Total spending is expected to reach $16.8 billion.

“Though the price of gas is on everyone’s mind, Easter is one of the few holidays some consumers are willing to stretch their budgets, especially because many children look forward to treats and new outfits on Easter morning,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “Retailers will make sure to offer plenty of promotions on candy, apparel, food and decorations in the coming weeks for eager holiday shoppers.”

According to the survey, those celebrating Easter have a hefty appetite for candy. Almost 90 percent will head straight to the candy aisle, shelling out more than $2 billion on traditional favorites such as chocolate eggs and jelly beans. The average person will spend more on candy this year: $20.35, up from $18.55 last year.

Americans are also set to fork over more on their Easter meals with the average consumer spending to reach $44.34, up from $40.05 last year for a total $5.1 billion. Additionally, consumers will spend an average of $20.57 on gifts for their friends and family, $10.50 on flowers and $9.07 on decorations for their home and office. Half (53.6 percent) will buy greeting cards, spending an average of $7.04.

About 63 percent of people will shop at their local discount store, and 42 percent will shop at department stores for gifts and other holiday merchandise. Online retailers will see the biggest jump in traffic this year, however. Nearly two in five (18.7 percent) will shop online, up from 14.8 percent last year and just 11.1 percent in 2008.

“Beautiful weather conditions coupled with a slight lift in consumer confidence will likely be a boon to the Easter holiday this year as consumers begin to seek out new spring merchandise for their home or garden, and even their wardrobe,” said BIGinsight Consumer Insights Director Pam Goodfellow. “It remains to be seen though, if this spending momentum will carry into the coming months with the cost of fueling up on the rise.”

Now a common shopping tool for millions of Americans, 52.3 percent of tablet owners celebrating Easter will use their device to research products and purchase gifts and other merchandise. Specifically, 25.7 percent say they will purchase something and 36.6 percent plan to research products and compare prices. More than one-quarter (26.3 percent) will look up company and store information, such as store hours and location, and 15.3 percent will use apps to research and purchase products. Additionally, 43.3 percent of smartphone owners celebrating Easter will use their mobile device to research and/or purchase items.

The NRF 2012 Easter Consumer spending survey, conducted for NRF by BIGinsight, polled 9,242 consumers from March 6-13, 2012. The consumer poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.0 percent.


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