Consumer spending: Americans prepare for Easter (shopping) parade

Easter Parade

Judy Garland and Fred Astaire in Easter Parade

Americans are getting ready to show us all why this is the world’s standout consumer spending market with an Easter spending binge.The National Retail Federation said yesterday that US consumers anticipate spending more than ever around Easter this year.

According to the trade body’s annual Easter Spending Survey (conducted by Prosper Insights and Analytics), spending for the holiday is expected to reach $17.3bn.

Those celebrating Easter plan to spend an average of $146 per person, the highest level in the survey’s 13 years. That’s also up significantly over last year’s $140.62 per person and $16.4bn total.

According to the survey, consumers will spend $3bn of that $17.3bn on clothing and $2.7bn on gifts (the rest being spent on food and drink, candy and flowers).

But whether retailers’ bottom lines will benefit from all this spending is open to question as shoppers still seem to be bargain-focused. A lot more than half (58.4% actually) say they’ll be shopping at discount stores with 41.4% heading to department stores, and 24.7% to local small stores.

The percentage shopping online will continue to rise (to 21.4% from last year’s 18.8%). So the big question here is will it be a mobile Easter? It looks like it will, but its not game over for traditional computers and tablets yet. The NRF said that among smartphone owners, 22.8% will research products on their devices while 14.9% will use their phones to make a purchase.

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