Average Consumer Will Spend 10% More on Easter This Year

April 8, 2011

nrf-easter-spending-apr-2011.JPGThe average adult US consumer is expected to spend $131.04 on everything from candy to clothes for the Easter 2011 holiday (April 24, 2011), up 10% from last year’s $118.60, according to a new survey from the National Retail Federation and BIGresearch. Despite this increase in average spend per person, about 64% of respondents to the “2011 Easter Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey” say they will spend the same this year as last year, with about 25% saying they will spend less and only 11% saying they will spend more.

Total spending on Easter-related merchandise is expected to reach $14.6 billion, up 12% from $13.03 billion in 2010.

Food, Candy Leading Items

Food and candy will account for most of a consumer’s budget, bringing in $2.1 billion in candy sales and $4.5 billion in food sales alone. The average person will spend slightly more on each than they did last year: $18.55 on candy, up 7% from $17.29 last year, and $40.05 on food, also up 7% from $37.45 last year.

Apparel Also Popular

The average Easter celebrant will spend $21.51 on new apparel, up 13% from last year’s $19.03 and totaling $2.4 billion in sales. In addition, consumers will spend an average of $9.02 on flowers, $8.00 on decorations and $6.79 on greeting cards. Spending on gifts for children will reach an average of $19.89, totaling $2.2 billion.

Dept., Discount Stores Get Business

Department (36.6%) and discount stores (62.6%) will be the most popular shopping destinations for Easter gifts this year, though specialty stores carrying flowers, jewelry and electronic merchandise will also see their share of traffic (22.4%). Other Easter shopping options include online (14.8%), specialty clothing stores (8.1%), and through a catalog (3.5%).

Younger Adults Biggest Spenders

The survey also found that Easter’s biggest spenders will be 25-to-34-year-olds ($173.41, 27% more than $136.79 last year) and young adults 18-24 ($145.12, up 15% from $125.85). Thirty-five-to-44 year olds will spend an average of $138.55, followed by 45-54-year-olds ($122.15) and 55-64 year-olds ($113.32).

8 in 10 Celebrate Easter

nrf-celebrate-easter-apr-2011.JPGAbout 80% of US adults will celebrate Easter this year. Women (almost 84%) will celebrate more than men (77%) and those earning more than $50,000 a year will celebrate at a slightly higher rate (83%) than those earning less than $50,000 a year (80%). By age, 18-to-24-year-olds will celebrate at the highest rate (87%), while consumers 65 and up will celebrate at the lowest rate (74%).

St. Pat’s Spending Up 20%

The most recent major spending holiday, St. Patrick’s Day (March 17), also showed strong growth, according to the recent National Retail Federation (NRF) 2011 St. Patrick’s Day Consumer Intentions and Actions survey, conducted by BIGresearch. More Americans planning to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day (Thursday, March 17) this year than last year were expected to produce a roughly 20% increase in total year-over-year holiday spending. St. Patrick’s Day spending totaled $3.44 billion in 2010 and was expected to reach $4.14 billion this year.

Average spending per person celebrating St. Patrick’s Day was only up about 3% year-over-year, from $33.05 to $33.97. However, the increase in total celebrants accounted for the expected 20% jump in total dollars spent.

St. Patrick’s Day spending showed a slow but steady increase from 2009, when total spending was 26% lower at $3.29 billion. In addition, average spending per person was $32.80, down about 3.5%.

About the Data: The NRF 2011 Easter Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, conducted for NRF by BIGresearch, was designed to gauge consumer behavior and shopping trends related to Easter spending. The poll of 8,491 consumers was conducted from March 1-8, 2011.

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