A later Easter holiday and warmer weather could motivate U.S. consumers to dig deeper into their wallets this year, according to the National Retail Federation.
The NRF’s annual survey predicts that spending for Easter ’17 — which will cover a longer period than last year’s holiday — will reach $18.4 billion, a 6 percent increase over last year’s record $17.3 billion and a new all-time high in the survey’s 14-year history.
“Most consumers have almost an entire extra month to shop for Easter this year, and by the time the holiday comes the weather should be significantly warmer than last Easter,” NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay said in a release Thursday. “That should put shoppers in the frame of mind to splurge on spring apparel along with Easter decorations. With the economy improving, consumers are ready to shop, and retailers are ready to offer great deals whether they’re buying Easter baskets or garden tools.”
Those celebrating plan to spend an average of $152 per person, up 4 percent from the prior year.
Though the survey doesn’t call out footwear specifically, when it comes to fashion 50 percent of consumers plan on buying clothes during the holiday — up from 45 percent last year and at the highest level in a decade. Meanwhile, those consumers said they plan to spend $3.3 billion, a 9 percent increase compared with the previous year, according to the NRF.
Adding more evidence that the shift toward discount spending is growing, the survey found that most consumers — 58 percent, to be exact — will head to discount stores. Another 46 percent said they would go to department stores, while 26 percent will shop at local small businesses. In addition, 27 percent will shop online, up from 21 percent last year.
“Easter continues to be a traditional holiday for consumers of all ages, especially [for] young families who are planning to spend a bit more for this celebration,” Prosper principal analyst Pam Goodfellow said. “With the later timing of Easter, we will see more consumers shopping for special deals, especially on apparel and decorations.”
The NRF survey, which asked 7,411 consumers about their Easter Sunday plans, was conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics.