St. Patrick’s Day can bring a retail boost as customers grab beer, snacks, shamrock novelty apparel, candy, decorations and more.
The National Retail Federation (NRF)’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Spending Survey conducted by Prosper Insight and Analytics found that more than 125 million Americans are planning to celebrate the March 17 holiday in 2016 and are expected to spend an average of $35.37 per person, down slightly from last year’s $36.52.
Total spending is predicted to hit $4.4 billion based on U.S. population 18 and older.
“Retailers expect to see a nice boost in sales as consumers head to stores looking for apparel, decorations, food and beverages to help make their St. Patrick’s Day celebrations special,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “With the winter holidays behind us and spring flowers starting to bloom, St. Patrick’s Day provides a perfect opportunity for Americans to get together to celebrate with friends and family.”
Fans of St. Patrick’s Day plan to celebrate in a number of ways. According to the survey, 82.1% will wear green to show their Irish pride, 31.3% plan to make a special dinner, 28.7% will head to a party at a bar or restaurant and 21.1% will attend a private party. In addition, 22.8% plan to decorate their homes or offices in an Irish theme.
According to the survey, 56.5% of those celebrating will purchase food and beverages, 28% will buy apparel or accessories, 23.3% will buy decorations and 17.2% will buy candy.
The survey asked for the first time where consumers will make their St. Patrick’s Day purchases.
More than a third, 36.2%, plan to do so at a grocery store, 30.4% at discount stores and 20.8% at bars and restaurants.
“St. Patrick’s Day isn’t a holiday for giving gifts, but it is a time for inexpensive and fun celebrations that make it easy for consumers of any age and on any budget to take part in the festivities,” Prosper’s Pam Goodfellow said. “Whether they’re heading to a parade, cooking an Irish meal or joining friends at a bar or restaurant, consumers will take the opportunity to get festive and celebrate.”
The holiday is most popular among individuals 18-24 years old with 70.1% celebrating but those 25-34 years old will be the biggest spenders at an average $42.58.
The survey of 7,108 consumers was conducted Feb. 2-9 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.2 percentage points.