How lucky can a retailer get? Saint Patrick's Day falls on a Saturday this year, and the National Retail Federation is forecasting unprecedented holiday spending this weekend.
Fifty-four percent of consumer will get their green on, according to a BIGinsight survey conducted for the NRF. This is the highest in the survey’s nine-year history. Timing is everything. In 2010, when St. Patrick’s Day fell on a Wednesday, only 45 percent of people surveyed planned to celebrate the holiday.
Holiday spending-wise, St. Patrick’s Day is a far cry from the winter holidays, Valentine’s Day, or even the Super Bowl .But $4.55 billion is nothing to sneeze at, especially in a still struggling economy. Revelers are expected to shell out $35 on Saturday.
How do you observe St. Patrick’s Day? The most popular form of celebration will be donning green apparel (82 percent). Twenty-eight percent plan to go to a pub or restaurant, while 19 percent said they plan to attend a private party. Nearly a third said they will be observing the holiday with dinner at home.
St. Patrick’s Day is a cross-generational holiday, but some generations celebrate more than others. Nearly 73 percent of Gen Y, or Millennials plan to celebrate this year, and are more likely to get into the spirit o’ the day. Eighty-seven percent will be wearing green. Thirty-seven percent will be packing the bars and restaurants or attending a private party (27 percent).
The celebration begins to get a little quieter with age. Baby boomers and those born in 1945 or earlier are the most likely to celebrate with a St. Patrick’s Day dinner at home.
St. Patrick’s Day can give a local economy a healthy surge. An economic study of Holyoke, Mass’ St. Patrick’s Day parade found that the event generates $20.5 million in economic activity. The holiday is also considered to be the launch of the Spring season, when people begin to stock up on garden and patio supplies and equipment as well as decorative accessories.
But the holiday itself is considered a day to have a wee bit o’’ fun. “As a non-gift-giving holiday, St. patrick’s Day really brings out the fun in consumers every year,” observed BIGinsight’s Consumer Insights Director Pam Goodfellow in a statement, “knowing they can splurge on gimmicky accessories like pins and buttons for their clothes and even home decor items to put their entire family in a festive spirit.”
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.