Long Windup Will Bolster Easter Spending

Author: Online shopping on the rise

March 23, 2017

Easter spending in the US is expected to rise 6.4% this year, and more shoppers than ever will be going online for their purchases.

Easter falls later than usual this year—three weeks later than last year—leaving significantly more time to shop.

The National Retail Federation (NRF)’s annual survey found that Easter shoppers expect to spend an average of $152 for a total of $18.4 billion, the the highest level yet.

Meanwhile, online shopping is increasingly in the mix for Easter shoppers. Some 26.8% of shoppers expect to do at least some of their shopping online. That’s up sharply from 21.4% a year ago.

Overall Easter spending has risen fairly steadily after a sharp downturn during the recession of 2009, when the total bottomed out at $12.7 billion. It has increased every year but one since then, rising 45% over the eight-year period.

Easter spending is dwarfed by winter holiday season spending. According to NRF data, the winter holidays generated $655.8 billion in 2016. Back-to-school spending was the closest season competitor, at $75.8 million. Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day and Easter spending trail far behind.

It’s worth noting that the NRF survey was conducted during the first nine days of March, a month which has turned out to be colder than usual for much of the US. The unusual weather is likely to have squelched some spring shopping, undoing some of the effect of the late holiday.

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