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St Patrick's Day to bring in $5.3bn

News, 10 March 2017
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WASHINGTON DC: American consumers who plan to celebrate St Patrick's Day on 17th March are expected to spend a record $5.3bn this year, according to a new industry report.

The Nation Retail Federation (NRF), the world's largest retail trade association, has been looking into US spending habits around the Irish holiday for 13 years.

Based on a survey of more than 7,600 consumers that was conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, NRF said spending this year is on course to be an all-time high.

At $5.3bn, the total forecast to be spent at the end of next week is up "dramatically" from last year's $4.4bn and tops the previous record of $4.8bn set in 2014.

More than 139m US consumers intend to celebrate St Patrick's Day, the survey revealed, and the average spend per person is expected to come to $37.92, although consumers aged 25 to 34 will be the biggest spenders at an average $46.55.

"Now that winter is almost behind us and with St. Patrick's Day falling on a Friday, we will see more Americans getting together to celebrate with friends and family," said Matthew Shay, NRF's President and CEO.

"Retailers should expect a nice boost in sales as consumers purchase apparel, decorations, food and beverages to help make their celebrations special."

Specifically, the survey found that around half (52%) of those planning to celebrate the holiday intend to buy food, followed by beverages (41%), apparel or accessories (28%), decorations (22%) and candy (14%).

Of those planning to make purchases, 39% will shop at grocery stores, while 29% will go to discount stores, with bars/restaurants and department stores attracting another 21% and 18% respectively.

Four in five (83%) say they will wear green to show their Irish pride, 31% plan to cook a special dinner, 27% will go to a party or a bar or restaurant, while 15% plan to attend a St Patrick's Day parade, rising to 21% among Americans in the Northeast.

Data sourced from NRF; additional content by Warc staff

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