Commentary

St. Pat's A Spring Ritual

According to NRF's 2011 St. Patrick's Day Consumer Intentions and Actions survey, an estimated 122 million Americans planning to celebrate St. Patrick's Day this year with parties or celebrations. 52.4% of Americans will celebrate the Irish holiday, up from 45.2% last year and the most in the survey's eight year history.

The survey found that while more people will celebrate, the average amount they plan on spending will be close to what it was last year ($33.97 vs. $33.05 in 2010). St. Patrick's Day spending totaled $3.44 billion in 2010 and is expected to reach $4.14 billion this year. The increase in total celebrants accounts for the 20% jump in total dollars spent.

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About 52% of Americans expect to celebrate St. Patrick's Day this year, up 15.5% from about 45% last year and the highest percentage in the eight-year history of the survey.

Nearly 102 million people (83.3%) will wear green for the holiday. Restaurants and bars will support the holiday spirit as well, hosting parties and serving green beverages:

  • 38 million Americans (31.2%) will attend a party at a bar or restaurant, the highest in the survey's history
  •  41 million (33.9%) will make a special dinner
  • 31 million people (25.1%) will decorate their home or office
  • 23 million (19.1%) will attend a private party

NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay, says "... consumers will look to St. Patrick's Day as their first spring related celebration... as a non-gift giving holiday, retailers will need to have... merchandise to attract celebrants looking for decorations, holiday food and even apparel..."

Demographics paint an interesting picture of St. Patrick's Day celebrations. 86.4% of people in the West will wear green, more than the survey found for the average adult. Young adults 18-24 will be the biggest group attending private parties (33.9%), and adults 25-34 years old will spend the most ($41.30).

Consumer Intentions for Celebrating St. Patrick's Day, March 17

 

Adults 18+

Men

Women

 Age 18-24

 Age 65+

Will you celebrate St. Patrick's Day this year?

Yes

52.4%

53.9%

51.0%

78.1%

36.1%

No

47.6%

46.1%

49.0%

 21.9%

 63.9%

How will you celebrate?

Wear green

83.3%

79.8%

86.7%

 89.0%

77.9%

Attend a private party

19.1%

22.3%

16.1%

33.9%

 16.6%

Attend a party at a bar/restaurant

31.2%

38.5%

24.2%

41.1%

15.0%

Decorate home or office

25.1%

18.4%

31.4%

 30.0%

17.0%

Make a special dinner

33.9%

29.7%

37.8%

 21.5%

40.1%

How much do you plan on spending?

Average of Spenders

$ 37.21

$41.73

 $32.80

$ 41.22

$ 27.79

Percent Spending

91.3%

92.5%

90.1%

 91.9%

89.0%

Net Average

$ 33.97

$38.61

$ 29.55

$ 37.88

$ 24.74

Source: NRF/BIGresearch, March 2011

       

For additional information from the National Retail Federation, please visit here.

 

 

 

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