A smaller Easter basket for retailers

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A smaller Easter basket for retailers

By Gina Acosta - 03/23/2018
The forecasted spending is still expected to be the second-highest level on record.

U.S. consumers will spend $18.2 billion on food, clothes, gifts and other goods for Easter this year, slightly less than last year's record of $18.4 billion, according to a survey from NRF.

The forecasted spending is still expected to be the second-highest level on record, according to the annual survey by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics. A total of 81% of Americans will celebrate the holiday and spend an average of $150 per person, down from last year’s previous record of $152.

“Despite a modest drop, the Easter forecast is still very positive and nearly as high as last year’s record,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “Consumer spending remains healthy both for this holiday and this spring, and that paints an optimistic picture for the U.S. economy in the year ahead.”

According to the survey, consumers will spend $5.7 billion on food (purchased by 87% of shoppers), $3.2 billion on clothing (48%), $2.9 billion on gifts (61%), $2.6 billion on candy (89%), $1.3 billion on flowers (39%), $1.1 billion on decorations (42%) and $780 million on greeting cards (46%).

In preparation for the Easter holiday, 59% of consumers will shop at discount stores, 46% will visit department stores, 28% will make purchases online, 25% will go to a specialty store and 25% will go to a small business or local store. Among smartphone users, 30% will research products or compare prices on their devices while 19% will use their phones to make a purchase.

“With more than three-quarters of consumers saying they will celebrate Easter this year, the holiday continues to be a traditional staple for Americans,” Prosper Insights Executive Vice President of Strategy Phil Rist said. “We continue to see consumers across ages, genders, regions and disposable incomes participate in this holiday.”

Consumers intend to celebrate Easter in several ways: 60% will visit family and friends, 58% will cook a holiday meal, 51% will go to church and 17% will go to a restaurant. The Easter Bunny is expected to have a busy holiday season: 35% of consumers will participate in an Easter egg hunt and 16% will open gifts. In addition to traditional holiday events, some consumers will pursue more leisurely activities: 45% will watch TV, 11% will shop online, 9% will shop in a store and 8% will go to a movie.

The survey, which asked 7,737 consumers about their Easter plans, was conducted March 2-14 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.1% percentage points.


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