Snacks & Candy

Bunny Drop

Candy, other spending down this Easter
WASHINGTON -- The Easter bunny will be handing out fewer jelly beans, chocolates and other gifts this year. According to the National Retail Federation's (NRF) 2009 Easter Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, conducted by BIGresearch, Americans will spend an average of $116.59 on Easter candy, gifts, food and decorations, down from an average of $135.03 last year. Total spending on the holiday is expected to reach $12.73 billion.

Survey findings indicate that many people will opt for less expensive celebrations this year. Americans' largest Easter expense will be in preparing [image-nocss] a meal, with the average person expected to spend $37.67 on food (down from $41.09 last year). People will also spend on gifts ($17.30 vs. $21.42 last year), flowers ($7.55 vs. $9.11 in 2008) and candy ($16.55 vs. $18.12 in 2008).

Even though Easter falls three weeks later than it did in 2008, fewer consumers are planning to purchase new spring attire this year. According to the survey, Americans will spend an average of $19.44, down from $23.82 last year.

"With Easter falling so late this year, retailers will have plenty of time to entice shoppers with deals on spring apparel and other Easter merchandise," said NRF president and CEO Tracy Mullin. "Retailers are hopeful that a late Easter will bring warmer weather and put shoppers in the mood to buy clothing, flowers and other holiday gifts."

The survey found the majority of people (64%) will bargain shop at discounters this year, up from the 58.8% who shopped there last year. Still, about one-third (32.5%) will head to their favorite department store for Easter merchandise, one in four (22.5%) will visit a specialty store, 11.4% will shop online and 5.9% will buy Easter apparel from a specialty clothing store.

"Many Americans view Easter as the official kickoff to spring," said Phil Rist, executive vice president of strategic initiatives for BIGresearch. "A later holiday could mean people will take advantage of retailers' Easter promotions as a way to spruce up their spring wardrobe."

The NRF 2009 Easter Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey was designed to gauge consumer behavior and shopping trends related to the Easter holiday. The survey was conducted for NRF by BIGresearch. The poll of 8,498 consumers was conducted from March 3-10, 2009. The consumer poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 1%.

NRF is the world's largest retail trade association, with membership that comprises all retail formats and channels of distribution including department, specialty, discount, catalog, Internet, independent stores, chain restaurants, drug stores and grocery stores as well as the industry's key trading partners of retail goods and services. NRF represents an industry with more than 1.6 million U.S. retail establishments, more than 24 million employees (about one in five American workers) and 2008 sales of $4.6 trillion. As the industry umbrella group, NRF also represents more than 100 state, national and international retail associations.

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