For Immediate Release: March 10, 2017
Spending expected to exceed previous records, totaling $5.3 billion nationwide; Per person spending to reach almost $38
ATLANTA, GA – The Georgia Retail Association (GRA), the state’s premier trade association representing retailers for over 50 years, announced today that spending for St. Patrick’s Day is expected to reach a record of $37.92 per person this year, which would set a record. The total amount spent nationally is expected to top $5.3 billion, up significantly from last year’s total of $4.4 billion.
“We continue to see spending on holidays and celebrations reaching or exceeding record highs, which reinforces the strength of our economy and the confidence that consumers feel,” said GRA President & CEO Scott Shalley. “Even though St. Patrick’s Day isn’t one of the bigger spending holidays, we still expect Georgia retailers to see a nice bump in sales, particularly those who offer additional discounts and sales to attract customers.”
According to GRA’s partners at the National Retail Federation’s annual survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, spending for St. Patrick’s Day is expected to reach $5.3 billion, an all-time high in the survey’s 13-year history. More than 139 million Americans plan to celebrate the Irish holiday, and are expected to spend an average of $37.92 per person, up from last year’s $35.37 and a new record that tops the previous record of $36.52 set in 2015. The $5.3 billion total is up dramatically from last year’s $4.4 billion and tops the previous record of $4.8 billion set in 2014.
According to the survey, 83 percent of celebrants will wear green to show their Irish pride, 31 percent plan to make a special dinner and 27 percent will head to a party at a bar or restaurant. Twenty-three percent will decorate their homes or offices in an Irish theme and 15 percent will attend a private party. In addition, 15 percent are planning to attend a St. Patrick’s Day parade, especially those living in the Northeast (21 percent).
The survey found that 52 percent of celebrants will purchase food, 41 percent beverages, 28 percent apparel or accessories, 22 percent decorations and 14 percent buy candy. Of those making purchases, 39 percent will go to grocery stores, 29 percent to discount stores, 21 percent to bars/restaurants and 18 percent to department stores.
The holiday is most popular among individuals 18-24 years old, with 77 percent celebrating, but those 25-34 will be the biggest spenders at an average $46.55.
The survey, which asked 7,609 consumers about their St. Patrick’s Day plans, was conducted February 1-8 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.1 percentage points.
ABOUT THE GEORGIA RETAIL ASSOCATION
Since 1961, the Georgia Retail Association has been working on behalf of the retail community to unite and pursue the common goal of creating the best environment for retailing in Georgia. Retail supports 1 out of 4 jobs in the state and is directly and indirectly responsible for 78% of Georgia's gross domestic product. The Georgia Retail Association is a division of the Florida Retail Federation.