Despite Early Easter, NRF Predicts Strong Sales

While an early Easter Sunday often dampens holiday spending, the National Retail Federation predicts sales will reach $22 billion this year. If so, that will make it the second-highest on record, just shy of last year’s $24 billion.

Based on lunar cycles, Easter can fall between March 22 and April 25, and arrives nine days earlier than last year.

NRF conducts the annual spending survey with Prosper Insights & Analytics and finds that this year, 81% of those surveyed have some kind of Easter celebration in mind.

Cooking a holiday meal is the most popular way to mark the day, at 57%, followed by visiting friends and family, 53% and going to church, 43%. And for families with kids, 51% say they’ll have an Easter egg hunt at home.

Consumers plan to spend an average of $177 per person, compared to $192 last year and $180 in 2021.



As ever, food matters most, with grocery purchases expected to generate $7.3 billion, followed by clothing, at $3.5 billion and gifts, at $3.4 billion. People will also spend $3.1 billion on candy and $1.6 billion on flowers.

Tradition may be the main influence on how people mark the holiday, but this year’s research also finds that retailers themselves play a part.

“This year almost one-quarter of consumers said they were inspired to shop for Easter items from store displays and decorations as well as exclusive or seasonal products,” says Phil Rist, executive vice president of Prosper, in the announcement. And 29% say they are motivated by sales and promotions.

Even those who don’t celebrate still find bargains a reason to shop, with 55% of non-celebrants saying they take advantage of holiday sales, spending an average of $21 per person.

The survey, which was conducted among 8,400 U.S. adults, finds that 53% of consumers plan to shop at discount stores, 40% at department stores, and 33% online.

Many consumers are focused on spending less, with Walmart reporting that 65% of shoppers say inflation is nibbling into their Easter budget. The retailer is offering an entire Easter meal for less than $8 per person, below last year’s prices, with rollbacks on ham, sweet potatoes, deviled eggs fixings and apple pies.

Target is already knocking 50% off Easter gifts, including books, games, puzzles and activities.

Macy’s marks the coming holiday with the kick-off of the annual flower show on March 24, which runs through April 7. This year, the event is tied in with Dior fragrances.

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