Easter has long been a favorite holiday for consumers – in many ways, it can be the definitive marker for the arrival of Spring, and children are always excited to see what the Easter bunny has brought them. This year, it seems that our lapine friend will really be loading up his basket.

The National Retail Federation (NRF) predicts that consumer spending on Easter will be greater than ever this year. According to the group's Easter Spending Survey, it calculates that each person celebrating the holiday will spend an average of $146 dollars, for a grand total of $17.3 billion – the most spent in the 13 years since the annual survey began.

Shopping for Spring

This year’s estimate is up dramatically from last year’s numbers, when consumers spent $16.4 billion on the holiday. Part of the reason may be that “Easter shopping” may include more general items that people want for the Spring.

“Retailers are beginning one of their busiest times of year and are more than ready as consumers shop for spring essentials. . . Shoppers will find promotions on a number of items on their lists, from Easter baskets to sports equipment, home goods, garden tools and more,” said Matthew Shay, President and CEO of the NRF.

Spending breakdown

When spending was broken down, the survey predicted that consumers will spend $5.5 billion on food, $3 billion on clothing, $2.7 billion on gifts, $2.4 billion on candy, and $1.2 billion on flowers. As for where shoppers will go to find their products, 58.4% said they would go to a discount store, 41.4% will visit department stores, and 24.7% will head for local, small businesses.

A good number of shoppers (21.4%) will forego going out to shop altogether and will purchase items online. A slightly higher number of people (22.8%) will use their smartphone to research products, with 14.9% going a step further and completing a purchase on their handheld device.

Activities for the holiday are varied, but many of the old staples remain popular – 57.8% say they will visit with family and friends, 51.3% will go to church, and 15.6% will go out to a restaurant to eat. Many children will be getting in on the festivities as well, with 31.4% expected to participate in an Easter egg hunt and 13.9% predicted to open gifts. 

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