Retailers may be feeling the luck of the Irish this weekend, thanks to St. Patrick’s Day falling on a Friday and a rough political climate that will no doubt offer many an excuse to let their hair down with some green beer and corned beef.
The National Retail Federation estimates that St. Patrick’s Day spending will reach a whopping $5.3 billion this year—the highest in survey history, and up dramatically from last year’s $4.4 billion.
According to NRF’s annual survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, more than 139 million Americans plan to celebrate the Irish holiday this year, and are expected to spend an average of $37.92 per person. Fifty-six percent of those surveyed plan on celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, with 88 percent of those celebrants wearing green to kick off the festivities.
The holiday is most popular among individuals 18-to-24 years old, the survey found, with 77 percent celebrating. NRF notes those ages 25-to-34 will be the biggest spenders at an average $46.55.
A little more than half (52 percent) of celebrants will purchase food, followed by beverages at 41 percent. Nearly a third (28 percent) said they were planning to purchase apparel or accessories for the celebrations, with 22 percent buying decorations and 14 percent buying candy.
“St. Patrick’s Day is a time for consumers of all ages to have fun and celebrate all things Irish whether it is attending a parade, cooking an Irish meal, or meeting friends at a bar or restaurant,” said Pam Goodfellow, the principal analyst for Prosper Insights & Analytics. “While more Americans are planning to celebrate the shamrock-filled day, expect millennials to take the lead among the festivities.”
Grocery stores will benefit from holiday shoppers, with 39 percent planning to make purchases there. Twenty-nine percent will visit discount stores, the survey revealed, with 21 percent headed to bars and restaurants, and 18 percent visiting department stores.
If you’re planning on chowing down on corned beef and cabbage this weekend, you’re in good company. According to the US Census Bureau, $133 million worth of cabbage was imported to the US in 2015, so we can only imagine how much was shipped ahead of this record-breaking holiday.