Easter spending expected to be near all-time record

easter shopping (Large)

Consumers are expected to spend $18.2 billion nationwide celebrating Easter this year according to a new survey released by the National Retail Federation.

More than four fifths of American consumers said they plan to do something to commemorate the holiday, and NRF estimates each will spend $150 doing so. The figure comes in slightly lower than the $152 a person average and $18.4 billion in spending recorded in last year’s survey.

“Even though spending will be down slightly, it’s still near a record high which is great news for Sunshine State retailers who focus on stocking their shelves for the Easter holiday,” said Florida Retail Federation President R. Scott Shalley. “Easter is a great time for people to spend with family, which means consumers will be looking for deals on purchasing food, decorations and holding Easter egg hunts to celebrate.”

Topping the list of consumer activities on Easter are visits with friends and family, with 60 percent saying that’s their plan for Sunday. Nearly as many said they planned to cook a special meal, while just over half said they would mark the day by going to church. A third of consumers said they’re looking to make the holiday fun for the little ones by planning an Easter egg hunt.

When it comes to how the Easter budget will be spent, food takes the cake. Nearly nine out of 10 customers said they’ll buy something to eat, whether it be a trip to the grocery store or a restaurant. The category makes up $5.7 billion of expected spending.

Candy was just as popular among shoppers, though at $2.6 billion in estimated sales they’ll spend significantly less getting a sugar high than eating a proper meal.

Three out of five consumers said they’d pick up a gift or two to put in the Easter basket, which is expected to bring retailers $2.9 billion in sales, while more than 40 percent said they’d buy decorations and greeting cards. Those categories come in at $1.1 billion and $780 million, respectively.

Flowers, which will make up $1.3 billion of total spending, found their way on to 39 percent of shopping lists.

More than half of shoppers plan to spend their cash at discount stores such as Target or Wal-Mart, while 46 percent said they’d swing by a department store and 28 percent said they’d handle their shopping online.

Specialty stores and local businesses will be the go-to for 25 percent of consumers, NRF said.

Peter Schorsch

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including Florida Politics and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Schorsch is also the publisher of INFLUENCE Magazine. For several years, Peter's blog was ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.


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