Easter spending is expected to total $18.2 billion this year, almost on par from a record $18.4 billion in 2017 but still the second-highest level on record, according to the annual survey released on Thursday by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics. A total of 81 percent of Americans will celebrate the holiday and spend an average of $150 per person, down from last year’s previous record of $152.
According to the survey, consumers will spend $5.7 billion on food (purchased by 87 percent of shoppers), $3.2 billion on clothing (48 percent), $2.9 billion on gifts (61 percent), $2.6 billion on candy (89 percent), $1.3 billion on flowers (39 percent), $1.1 billion on decorations (42 percent) and $780 million on greeting cards (46 percent).
In preparation for the Easter holiday, 59 percent of consumers will shop at discount stores, 46 percent will visit department stores, 28 percent will make purchases online, 25 percent will go to a specialty store and 25 percent will go to a small business or local store. Among smartphone users, 30 percent will research products or compare prices on their devices while 19 percent will use their phones to make a purchase.
“Despite a modest drop, the Easter forecast is still very positive and nearly as high as last year’s record,” said Matthew Shay, president and CEO of NRF. “Consumer spending remains healthy both for this holiday and this spring, and that paints an optimistic picture for the U.S. economy in the year ahead.”
“With more than three-quarters of consumers saying they will celebrate Easter this year, the holiday continues to be a traditional staple for Americans,” added Phil Rist, executive vice president of strategy at Prosper Insights. “We continue to see consumers across ages, genders, regions and disposable incomes participate in this holiday.”
Consumers intend to celebrate Easter in several ways: 60 percent will visit family and friends, 58 percent will cook a holiday meal, 51 percent will go to church and 17 percent will go to a restaurant. The Easter Bunny is expected to have a busy holiday season: 35 percent of consumers will participate in an Easter egg hunt and 16 percent will open gifts. In addition to traditional holiday events, some consumers will pursue more leisurely activities: 45 percent will watch TV, 11 percent will shop online, 9 percent will shop in a store and 8 percent will go to a movie.