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03/26/2021

Consumer Easter Spending May Set New Record

Consumers are eager to spend money this Easter season, and the average figure may break a new record, according to a survey from the National Retail Federation.

Consumers are eager to spend money this Easter season, and the average figure may break a new record, according to a survey from the National Retail Federation. On average, consumers are expected to spend $179.70 each this Easter--a new record high.

Collectively, 79% of Americans will celebrate Easter and spend $21.6 billion, just slightly below the pre-pandemic estimate of $21.7 billion in 2020.

Spending is likely buoyed from a recent round of stimulus checks from the government, administered at the end of March, as well as growing confidence among consumers as Covid-19 vaccination programs continue to roll out.

“With new stimulus funds from the President’s American Rescue Plan, positive trends in vaccinations and growing consumer confidence, there is a lot of momentum heading into the Spring and holiday events like Easter,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said in a statement. “Many have figured out how to celebrate holidays safely with family and that is reflected in consumer spending this Easter.”

Last year, Easter-centric products did not fare well, as shoppers focused on cleaning and sanitizing products. Dollar Tree noted Easter-related product sales were down in 2020, while demand for other products skyrocketed. Overall retail sales of clothes and accessories fell 88% last April.

Nearly half (48%) of shoppers plan to shop at discount stores for Easter-related items, while 35% said they will visit department stores, 35% said online, 23% indicated they will head to a specialty store and 23% will go to a small store or local business. Of note, the 35% of shoppers who indicated they will shop online this Easter holiday is the highest percentage in the survey’s history, up from 28% last year.

Some shoppers may be making up for lost time, with Easter gifts, food and candy identified as the biggest drivers of Easter spending. Estimates for average spending on each of these items are elevated for 2021 compared to last year. Vaccinations may be playing a role in family gatherings this Easter, with more families planning to celebrate a holiday meal together with vaccinated family members or gather outdoors, NRF noted. Not all respondents in the 8,111-consumer survey reported they will celebrate in person; 22% said they will attend church virtually and 24% indicated they plan to connect with friends or family by phone or video.

“This year’s numbers reflect not just consumers’ resilience in the last 12 months but also the enduring popularity of Easter,” Prosper Insights Executive Vice President of Strategy Phil Rist said in a statement.