Americans Likely to Spend $16.8 Billion on Easter

While Easter is a time to meditate on and celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus for Christians, it brings good news for retailers, too. From apparel and candy to food and decorations, American consumers are expected to spend $16.8 billion on the occasion on April 8, according to a survey.

Americans will shell out an average of $145.28 on Easter, up 11 percent from $131.04 last year, according to National Retail Federation's Easter spending survey, conducted by BIGinsight. Total spending is expected to reach $16.8 billion, excluding the gasoline they will buy to get to church, estimated the survey designed to gauge consumer behavior and shopping trends related to Easter.

"Though the price of gas is on everyone's mind, Easter is one of the few holidays some consumers are willing to stretch their budgets, especially because many children look forward to treats and new outfits on Easter morning," NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said in a press release. "Retailers will make sure to offer plenty of promotions on candy, apparel, food and decorations in the coming weeks for eager holiday shoppers."

The survey found that the average person will spend $26.11 on apparel, up from $21.51 last year, $20.35 on candy, up from $18.55 last year, and $44.34 on meals, up from $40.05 last year. Consumers will also spend an average of $20.57 on gifts for their friends and family, $10.50 on flowers, and $9.07 on decorations for their home and office.

More than 63 percent said they would shop at their local discount store, while over 42 percent – the highest percent in the survey's history – said they would shop at a department store for gifts and other holiday merchandise. Online shops are also expected to see the biggest jump in traffic this year. Nearly two in five said they would shop online, up from 14.8 percent last year.

"Beautiful weather conditions coupled with a slight lift in consumer confidence will likely be a boon to the Easter holiday this year as consumers begin to seek out new spring merchandise for their home or garden, and even their wardrobe," says BIGinsight Consumer Insights Director Pam Goodfellow. "It remains to be seen though, if this spending momentum will carry into the coming months with the cost of fueling up on the rise."

The poll of 9,242 consumers was conducted from March 6-13, 2012. The consumer poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.0 percent.

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