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NRF: St. Patrick’s Day spending on pace to hit a record

Retailers could expect to see a lot more “green” this St. Patrick’s Day.

Americans plan to spend a record $5.9 billion to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day this year. Besides being an increase from last year’s previous record of $5.3 billion, it is the highest level in the 14-year history of the annual St. Patrick’s Day survey from the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics.

According to the data, over 149 million U.S. adults plan to celebrate the Irish holiday, up from last year’s approximate 139 million. St. Patrick’s Day revelers are expected to spend an average of $39.65 per person, up from last year’s previous record of $37.92.

The holiday is most popular among individuals 18-24 years old, with 77% celebrating. However, consumers between 35-44 will be the biggest spenders, at an average of $45.76.

Consumers are allocating their spending in different ways. For example, 50% of celebrants will purchase food, 41% beverages, 31% apparel or accessories, 26% decorations, and 16% candy. Of those making purchases, 38% will go to grocery stores, 31% to discount stores, 20% to department stores, and 19% to bars or restaurants.

“With winter hopefully winding down over the next few weeks, consumers are ready to start celebrating spring with St. Patrick’s Day,” said NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay. “The holiday falls on a Saturday this year, so Americans will have more time to splurge a little as they get together with friends and loved ones for a day of festivities.”
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