A survey conducted by the National Retail Federation is predicting record-setting Easter spending this year with a projected total of $18.4 billion in spending for the Christian holiday.
“With Easter falling almost an entire month later than last year, that means warmer weather and more people in the mood to spend money to celebrate,” said Florida Retail Federation President/CEO R. Scott Shalley.
“This is great news for Sunshine State retailers, and with more consumers spending more money, we expect stores to be busy in the days leading up to Easter.”
The prime date for Easter this year, roughly determined by the first full moon after the vernal equinox, will cause a 6 percent hop in spending over last year when shoppers spent $17.3 billion. The per-person average will also jump 4 percent from the previous year to $152.
Customers aren’t putting all their eggs in one basket, either. Nearly nine out of 10 shoppers will pick up food or candy, while 61 percent plan to pick up gifts, and half say they will buy clothing, up from 45 percent last year.
About two out of five shoppers plan to buy flowers, decorations or greeting cards.
Big retailers, like Target and Wal-Mart, can expect a big influx of Easter shoppers during the holiday weekend, with 58 percent of Easter shoppers planning to make a stop. A little under half of those customers will visit department stores, while about a quarter plan to shop small at a local business.
Online shopping is also expected to get a 6 percent bump over last year, when 21 percent of consumers made their purchases from the comfort of their home, presumably while in bunny slippers.
Overall, food will make up the biggest piece of the pie with a projected $5.8 billion in spending — and that’s not including the expected $2.6 billion spent on candy. Clothes follow at $3.3 billion, gifts at $2.9 billion, then $1.2 billion in flowers and $1.1 billion on decorations.
Of course, the holiday isn’t all about shopping. For some, it’s about family; for others, it’s about egg hunts; for many more, it’s a significant religious experience.
More than 60 percent of respondents say they will spend the holiday with family, while 52 percent stated that they would head to church. A third said they would have an Easter Egg Hunt, while a sixth of respondents say they would go to a restaurant or open gifts.