Though the average American is expected to spend slightly less than last year ($137.46 compared to $145.13), according to an NRF report released last week, the outlook is bright for retail sales following a lackluster winter holiday season.
Matthew Shay, NRF president and CEO, said, “The winter doldrums left consumers with a lot of pent-up demand, and though many Americans may take a cautious approach to spending on Easter items this year, retailers are anticipating that warmer weather will easily put consumers in the mood to buy bright clothes, holiday decorations and more.” He added, “As one of the biggest holidays of the year, retailers are looking forward to increased customer traffic in stores and online, and will roll out promotions on everything from garden supplies and patio sets to apparel and grocery items as they help their customers prepare for the holiday.”
NRF polled 6,387 consumers from March 4 to 11 to gauge Easter spending behavior and shopping trends.
Since Easter is roughly in line with the start of spring, NRF reported that 42.9% of consumers will purchase new spring attire like Easter dress clothing for children, spending an average of $22.71. Total spending on apparel is expected to hit $2.6 billion for the holiday.
A sizeable 61.5% of consumers surveyed said they would make their Easter purchases at discount stores compared to 38.1% at department stores, 8.2% at specialty clothing stores, 22.3% at specialty stores (for gifts, flowers, jewelry, electronics) and 19.1% said they would buy online for the holiday.
Of those who own smartphones, 23.4% said they would use their device to research products or compare prices and 12.2% of smartphone owners said they would actually use their device to make a purchase. That number was slightly higher among tablet users, 19.2% of which said they would make Easter purchases from their device.
Prosper Insights and Analytics director Pam Goodfellow said, “Americans are eager to dip their toes in the fresh green grass this Easter and celebrate the day with friends and family.” She added, “Though they are planning to trim their budgets in terms of spending on food, clothes and gifts, most will look for personal and fun items that won’t break the bank in order to enjoy the day.”