Americans ready for barbecues, travel for Independence Day

WASHINGTON – Summer is in full swing and Americans are ready to put on their red, white and blue to celebrate Independence Day with friends and family — and plenty of food. According to the National Retail Federation’s 2015 Independence Day Survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, more than 156 million consumers—nearly two thirds of those celebrating (64.4 percent), are planning to take part in the patriotic holiday by attending a cookout, picnic or barbecue, spending an average of $71.23 per household, up from $68.16 last year. Total spending on food items for the holiday is estimated to reach $6.6 billion.*

“The busiest half of the year for retailers is about to begin, and with economic conditions swaying in consumers’ favor more so this year than last, many seem eager to take advantage of retailers’ promotions,” said NRF President and CEO Mathew Shay.

When it comes to shopping for new Independence Day merchandise, though many already have all the patriotic gear they need, more than 48 million consumers - 22.8 percent -will hit the stores looking for decorations, apparel and more to celebrate in style. 

The survey found 42.6 percent, or 103 million celebrants, will attend a fireworks display or community celebration, and 11.5 percent – 27 million of those celebrating, will watch a parade. The holiday weekend is also a popular time for travel and vacations as more than 33 million Americans say they will head out of town.

When asked about the impact gas prices will have on their spending, nearly eight in 10 (78 percent) say that the price of gas will not impact their spending for the holiday weekend, up from 70.1 percent who said so last year.

“Consumers this summer and for the 4th of July will take advantage of lower gas prices to head to the beach or get together with family– something they’ve had to think long and hard about in recent years with higher energy costs and limited budgets,” said Prosper Insights Consumer Insights Director Pam Goodfellow.

About the Survey

The NRF 2015 Independence Day Spending Survey was designed to gauge consumer behavior and shopping trends related to the Independence Day holiday. The survey was conducted for NRF by Prosper Insights & Analytics. The poll of 6,431 consumers was conducted from June 2-9, 2015. The consumer poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.2 percentage points.

Prosper Insights and Analytics delivers executives timely, consumer-centric insights from multiple sources. As a comprehensive resource of information, Prosper represents the voice of the consumer and provides knowledge to marketers regarding consumer views on the economy, personal finance, retail, lifestyle, media and domestic and world issues.

About NRF
The National Retail Federation is the world’s largest retail trade association. Based in Washington, D.C., NRF represents discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private-sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs — 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy.