Easter spending was 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 by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics. A total of 81% of Americans were expected to celebrate the holiday and spend an average of $150 per person, down from last year’s previous record of $152.
“Despite a modest drop, the Easter forecast is still very positive and nearly as high as last year’s record,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “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.”
According to the survey, consumers would spend $5.7 billion on food (purchased by 87% of shoppers), $3.2 billion on clothing (48%), $2.9 billion on gifts (61%), $2.6 billion on candy (89%), $1.3 billion on flowers (39%), $1.1 billion on decorations (42%) and $780 million on greeting cards (46%).
In preparation for the Easter holiday, 59% of consumers would shop at discount stores, 46% would visit department stores, 28% would make purchases online, 25% would go to a specialty store and 25% would go to a small business or local store. Among smartphone users, 30% would research products or compare prices on their devices while 19% would use their phones to make a purchase.
“With more than three-quarters of consumers saying they will celebrate Easter this year, the holiday continues to be a traditional staple for Americans,” Prosper Insights Executive Vice President of Strategy Phil Rist said. “We continue to see consumers across ages, genders, regions and disposable incomes participate in this holiday.”
Consumers indicated that they would celebrate Easter in several ways: 60% would visit family and friends, 58% would cook a holiday meal, 51% would go to church and 17% would go to a restaurant. The Easter Bunny was expected to have a busy holiday season: 35% of consumers would participate in an Easter egg hunt and 16% would open gifts. In addition to traditional holiday events, some consumers would pursue more leisurely activities: 45% would watch TV, 11% would shop online, 9% would shop in a store and 8% would go to a movie.
The survey, which asked 7,737 consumers about their Easter plans, was conducted March 2-14 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.1 percentage points.
Prosper Insights & Analytics is a global leader in consumer intent data serving the financial services, marketing technology and retail industries. NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries.