NEW YORK (MainStreet) — More Americans plan on celebrating St. Patrick’s Day this year, a small splurge that will collectively create a nice boost in sales for retailers.
According to a recent survey conducted by the National Retail Federation, 52.4% of Americans will celebrate the Irish holiday, up from 45.2% last year and the most in the survey’s eight-year history.
The NRF estimates that, in total, 122 million Americans will toast to St. Patrick on Thursday and total spending related to the holiday is expected to reach $4.14 billion.
Why are so many consumers going green? The NRF attributes it to the timing of the holiday.
“Eager to shake off the winter blues, consumers will look to St. Patrick’s Day as their first spring related celebration, meaning great things for the economy, retailers and restaurants,” NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay said in a press release.
It also helps that St. Patrick’s is a relatively cheap holiday. The NRF survey found that the average amount consumers plan on spending this year is $33.97, up from $33.05 they planned on spending in 2010.
Comparatively, additional NRF estimates reveal that the average person spent $116.21 on traditional Valentine’s Day merchandise this year. Total Valentine’s Day spending was estimated to be about $15.7 billion.
Easter Sunday, the next big holiday on the calendar (April 24), netted retailers about $13 billion in 2010, with the average amount spent per person hitting $118.60.
“Inexpensive, fun celebrations surrounding St. Patrick’s Day will make it easy for consumers of all ages to take part in the festivities,” said Phil Rist, an executive vice president at BIGresearch, who co-sponsored the research.