Easter tipped to see highest retail spending on record

A year after COVID plunged the US retail sector into chaos, Easter 2021 is expected to see the highest spending on record, according to the National Retail Federation.

On March 24, the NRF released the findings of their annual Easter survey, noting consumers are predicted to spend $21.6 billion collectively.

Here’s what else they anticipate will occur in retail this Easter…

Many to celebrate

After a tough 12 months, the majority of Americans are tipped to celebrate Easter this year, with 79 per cent of survey respondents indicating they are looking to mark the holiday.

On average they are predicted to spend $179.70 each, with the total likely to be in the vicinity of $21.6 billion.

The NRF notes this is down slightly on the $21.7 billion consumers were expected to outlay in 2020, but these predictions missed the mark slightly after COVID-19 emerged as a major threat.

“With new stimulus funds from the President’s American Rescue Plan, positive trends in vaccinations and growing consumer confidence, there is a lot of momentum heading into the Spring and holiday events like Easter,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said.

“Many have figured out how to celebrate holidays safely with family and that is reflected in consumer spending this Easter.”

Higher than previous years

If the forecast turns out to be accurate, this year’s Easter spending will be the highest on record.

The NRF’s data indicates, while lower than predicted, consumers last year spent $175.85 each, and this year’s spending is tipped to see each fork out $3.95 more.

Prior to last year, the previous record was $151.90 in 2017, and before that, it was $145.28 in 2012.

What people will buy

What people will buy in easter

The NRF notes Easter gifts, food and candy are the biggest drivers of growth this year.

Their data indicates consumers plan to spend an average of:

  • $31.06 on gifts (up from $27.91 in 2020).
  • $52.50 on food (up from $51.76).
  • $25.22 on candy (up from $23.30).

Where people will shop

When it comes to where people intend to purchase their Easter-related items, discount stores are the most popular choice, with 43 per cent of survey respondents noting they intended to shop there.

Discount stores are followed by:

  • Department stores – 35 per cent.
  • Online – 35 per cent (the highest percentage in the survey’s history and up from 28 per cent last year).
  • Specialty stores – 23 per cent.
  • Small businesses or local stores – 23 per cent.

Meanwhile, as vaccination rates increase, celebrations are also on the rise.

How people will celebrate

How people will celebrate easter

After a year in which many people self-isolated, Easter sees them looking to spend time with family and friends in accordance with CDC guidelines.

The NRF notes:

  • 59 per cent of consumers plan to mark the holiday by cooking a holiday meal.
  • 43 per cent are looking to visit with family and friends.
  • 43 per cent will spend the holiday watching TV.
  • 31 per cent are planning an Easter egg hunt.
  • 28 per cent intend to go to church.

“However, not everyone is ready to resume in-person activities,” the NRF states, “with 22 per cent indicating they will attend church virtually and 24 per cent saying they will connect with their loved ones by phone or video.”

Follows a bumper Christmas

The expected record spending this Easter follows a bumper festive season. Final numbers indicate holiday spending for 2020 was well above expected, with $789.4 billion injected into the retail economy.

That figure was 8.3 per cent above the same period in 2019 and was more than double the 3.5 per cent average holiday increase over the previous five years, including 2019’s 4 per cent gain.

You can learn more about the trends emerging in retail here, or see our security tags and security labels for all the latest products to protect items in-store.