2013 Economic Impact of Easter at $17.2 Billion, Likely Undercounted

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24/7 Wall St. tries to evaluate what the cost of each major holiday will be, or what the economic contribution is. The National Retail Federation tallies each holiday up using data from BIGinsight and this year’s survey was based on data from 5,050 consumers. What we find each holiday is the holiday’s economic value tends to be under-calculated. The 2013 Easter tally in America is put at $17.2 billion, but the reality is that much more gets spent than this number.

The 2013 report was called one of frugality as the average person celebrating Easter will spend roughly $145.13 in 2013 versus $145.28 in 2012. The total comes from spending on candy, decor, apparel and food. Here are some basic statistics used from the study:

  • Family brunch or dinner: 86.9% will spend an average of $45.26 on items needed for their holiday meal.
  • New spring attire: Some 48.4% will purchase clothing this Easter, spending an average of $25.91 for bright new outfits for children or for themselves.
  • Candy: A whopping 90.5% will have bought Easter candy, spending an average of $20.66 on jelly beans, chocolate and more.
  • Easter gifts: $20.82 on gifts.
  • Flowers: $9.49 on flowers.
  • Decorations: $9.11 on decorations.
  • Where they buy: Some 63.4% will shop at discount stores; 40.7% will shop at their favorite department store; 24.9% will shop at specialty stores, some 21.1% will shop online, and 10.6% will go to specialty clothing stores.

There is also proof that the mobile internet is taking over on shopping as well, even for the Easter Bunny. The report showed:

  • 43.3% of smartphone owners will have used their mobile device to research product information, look up store hours and location, compare prices and even purchase gifts and other items.
  • 14.8% said that they would purchase Easter products with their smartphones.
  • 51.0% of tablet owners said that they would use their device to make purchases, or to do things like research prices and products and to look up retailer locations and hours.
  • 22.1% of those surveyed said that they would purchase something via their tablet.

We would again note that the holiday tally here sounds huge at $17.2 billion in 2013. Our issue is that of the $145.13 spent, the tally of clothing, candy, gifts, food, flowers, decorations and greeting cards comes to $116.39. The “other” category is only $28.74 and does not include many of the things we might lump in with the extra family spending.

Read Also: The Cost of the 12 Days of Christmas

Many families go out of town to see family or to get away for the three-day weekend. Most schools were out on Friday, the banks and markets were closed, as were many government offices. The driving, airline tickets, hotels, and the new clothing that is likely bought ahead of a trip would blow this number out of the water. What about all of the extra churchgoers that head to church with their family? That brings extra dry cleaning bills, extra gasoline, and of course extra monetary donations. Then there are also all of those emergency expenses for things like bandaids and all of those “I forgot to bring” expenses that happen just about every time someone travels or goes somewhere outside of their house.

We would conclude with one simple question after tallying up all the other expenses that are not just considered to be retail expenses that the BIGinsight focus used and all the non-retail or planned expenses. Does all of this make really Easter more than a $20 billion holiday?

Read Also: How Halloween Now Costs Over $10 Billion

Oh, and there is one last thing for those who celebrate this holiday. Happy Easter!