Skip to main content

Eggcitement builds for Easter sales


Forget about Black Friday, it was pastel Sunday in Target stores this past weekend, as shoppers loaded up on Easter merchandise in preparation for the upcoming holiday. The earlier arrival (April 4) of Easter this year promises to artificially inflate Target’s March results when compared with the prior year when Easter fell deeper (April 12) in April, as did the majority of sales. In addition, estimates for seasonal sales this year are generally quite good, with several organizations anticipating growth. Easter sales are supposed to increase 1.8% this year to a total of roughly $14 billion, according to IBIS World. The first and third largest components of that total, food and candy, are expected to rise 3.8% and 3.2%, respectively to $4.68 billion and $2.2 billion. Apparel, the second largest category, is forecast to increase 2.4% to $2.34 billion. Growth in the food and candy segments is impressive considering deflation in those categories, while overall seasonal growth is being hurt by a forecast decline in such categories as gifts and decorations.

“Throughout the recession, consumers have continued to get in touch with family values during the holidays, forgoing the desire for wants with items that meet specific needs,” said George Van Horn, senior analyst with IBISWorld. “Since 2006, traditional category expenditures, like Easter food and candy, have increased their share of total sales. While apparel’s share of total spending will increase slightly in 2010, apparel and gift spending have seen their share of total Easter spending decline during the past four-year period.”

A recent National Retail Federation consumer survey also showed consumers intend to spend on average about $118 compared to $116 last year for a total seasonal spend of $13 billion.

“With signs of spring popping up everywhere, shoppers are eager to get their hands on bright, colorful Easter merchandise,” said Tracy Mullin, president and CEO of NRF. “Warmer weather and special holiday promotions are the perfect mix to get people out of their homes and into stores as spring approaches.”

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds