Sonora, CA – In addition to a spiritual celebration, Easter is for many a time to spend quality time with family — and, this year, more money than ever before on Easter apparel, candy and other purchases.
Across the country, Easter spending will reach $17.3 billion this year, according to the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) annual Easter Spending Survey by Prosper Insights and Analytics. That works out to be an average of about $146 per person. Last year’s total and average came in at $16.4 billion and $140.62, respectively.
“Retailers are beginning one of their busiest times of year and are more than ready as consumers shop for spring essentials,” explains NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. Stores are subsequently attracting consumers with enticing promotions on everything from Easter baskets to home goods and gardening products. The survey indicates that shoppers 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. Over 58 percent will purchase some of these items at discount stores while about 41 percent will head to department stores and nearly 25 percent will shop local. Online purchases will make up about 21 percent of the shopping activities, up roughly two percent from last year.
The National Confectioners Association (NCA), which considers Easter right up there with Halloween as a major holiday for candy sales, confirms that more than 100 million chocolate bunnies were produced for Easter 2016, along with millions of chocolate eggs. It estimates that nearly 80 percent of American parents will play Easter Bunny “helper” by creating and/or sharing baskets with their kiddies; nine out of ten will contain chocolate, candy, gum or mints. NCA projects that retail sales of Easter candy this year will total $2.4 billion, which is over a percent more than last year. Chiming in with more tooth-tingling data, Nielsen determined in the week before Easter last year, Americans bought $823 million in creme-filled eggs, chocolate rabbits and colored marshmallow Peeps. By weight that is 146 million pounds of confections — nearly half a pound for every man, woman and child — or the weight of more than 11,000 African bush elephants. Nielsen did not provide the number of Easter rabbits that works out to be. Maybe next year.
The NRF survey, which also asked consumers how they plan to celebrate the holiday, estimates that nearly 58 percent will visit family and friends; almost 56 percent will cook a holiday meal; over 51 percent will go to church; about 16 percent will dine out at a restaurant. Just under a third of folks polled plan to stage Easter egg hunts for the kids; about 14 percent will buy them Easter gifts. The NCA poll finds that 71 percent of American households with children will hunt for hard-boiled or plastic eggs filled with treats and surprises, while 79 percent will dye and decorate eggs. This year, one in ten homes will create and decorate an Easter egg tree.
However you celebrate the holiday, best wishes for an enjoyable weekend! For the scoop on related events going on across the Mother Lode, click here.