Easter Spending 2012 by the Numbers
Tue, Apr 3, 1:12 PM ET, by RetailSails.com
Even as gas prices at the pump inch towards $4/gallon and are once again approaching historical highs, consumers have continued spending at a healthy clip to start the spring.
Unseasonably warm weather and students on spring break helped chain store sales post the best weekly gain in more than 11 years last week, according to ICSC, and the momentum is expected to continue with Easter falling 16 days earlier this year than last.
Based on the National Retail Federation's (NRF) 2012 Easter Consumer Intentions and Actions survey, the average consumer is expected to spend $145.28 on everything from candy to clothes this Easter, up 10.9% from 2011 and nearly 25% higher than the depths of the recession in 2009.
Overall spending is expected to rise for the third straight year, projected to jump over 14% to $16.75 billion, with nearly 45% of coming from sales of food and candy. The NRF estimates Easter is the 4th-biggest spending holiday behind Christmas, Back-to-School and just slightly smaller than Valentine’s Day.
"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," said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. "Retailers will make sure to offer plenty of promotions on candy, apparel, food and decorations in the coming weeks for eager holiday shoppers.”
63.5% of shoppers said they will be heading to discount stores for Easter wares, making it the most popular destination, followed by department stores (42.6%) and specialty stores (25.4%) including greeting card & gift stores, florists, jewelry and electronics stores.
18.7% of American will head online to do their Easter shopping, compared to 14.8% in 2011 and 11.4% in 2009, and web shoppers will spend an average of $150.70 according to Shop.org.
Mobile devices will have a significant impact on purchases, both online and in-store – 46.0% of survey respondents own smart-phones and 19.8% own tablets. About half of smartphone and tablet owners plan on using their devices to research/compare prices, purchase products, look up retailer information and use apps to research and purchase products.
In terms of demographics, the average male shopper ($162.26) will out-spend women ($129.28) across every category; not surprisingly those making more than $50k ($174.94) will spend significantly more in each category and overall than those making less than $50k ($116.74); finally, shoppers aged 25-34 ($181.75) and 35-44 ($183.21) will be the top spenders, followed by young adults 18-24 ($158.84).
Food is the top category as 87.8% shoppers plan to spend on meals ($44.34) and sales are expected to reach $5.11 billion, while 89.3% of Americans will buy candy this Easter, spending an average of $20.35. With expected sales of $2.346 billion, the National Confectioners Association says Easter is the second top-selling confectionery holiday behind only Halloween.
While shoppers won’t necessarily splurge on flowers ($10.50 average/$1.21 billion total) and greeting cards ($7.04 average/$812 million total): The Society of American Florists estimates the Easter/Passover period accounts for 13% of Holiday transactions and 10% of dollar volume, the fourth highest behind Christmas/Chanukah, Mother's Day and Valentine's Day, while Hallmark reports Americans send 57 million greeting cards for Easter, fifth most on the holiday calendar.
The unseasonably warmer weather most of the country has experienced over the last few months has been a boon for spring-related merchandise, and this shows up in clothing purchase intent: Nearly half (48.5%) said they plan to purchase clothing ahead of Easter, with the average shopper spending $26.11 and overall spending projected to jump 25% from 2010 to $3.01 billion.
Because of the calendar shift, we will use the combined March-April period to judge Easter/early spring performance, but we should get a good initial indication of results when chains report March monthly sales on Thursday morning.
“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," said 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.”
Tagged: consumer spending, easter spending, holiday spending, retail sales, retail trends
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