National Retailers Group Optimistic About Easter Spend

It wasn't an easy winter for many retailers, but a new survey from the National Retail Federation predicts that this year's relatively early Easter--April 8--will result in hopped-up spending. The NRF survey forecasts an 11% gain in Easter spending compared to last year, with sales totaling $14.37 billion, or $135.07 per person.

Candy is by far the most popular purchase. While only 79.5% of those polled say they celebrate Easter, 89.6% will purchase candy, spending an average of $18.53 per person. And 86% will purchase other Easter-related foods, spending an average $37.56. Other popular purchases include Easter gifts (65.7%) and greeting cards (58.7%). Some 46.5% say they plan to buy new clothes for the holiday, and 41.9% are planning to buy flowers.

The NRF survey also found a continued shift in shopping preferences that began last November. More shoppers are headed to department stores (36.8% versus 30.0% last year). And fewer will be doing their shopping at discount stores (57.2% this year versus 59.6%).



Predictably, per-capita spending is highest in shoppers between the ages of 25 and 34, who most likely to have small children.

And of course, for kids, candy continues to be the holiday's main appeal. The National Confectioners Association predicts candy sales this Easter will come in at around $1.9 billion.

And when NCA polled 9- to-12-year-olds, marshmallow treats, malted milk balls/eggs, and jelly beans all proved popular, but nothing comes close to the appeal of the chocolate rabbit. NCA estimates that 90 million will be sold this year. Most Americans prefer solid rabbits (42%) to hollow ones (14%.) And 76% say they eat the ears first.

The NRF says that Easter ranks as the fourth-biggest retail holiday, following the winter holidays (with spending of $457.4 billion), back-to-school ($54.2 billion), and Valentine's Day ($16.9 billion.)

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