St. Patrick’s Day Expected to Give Retailers a Spring Boost

WASHINGTON – Americans love to put on their green and celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with family and friends, and this year is expected to be no different. According to NRF’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Spending Survey conducted by Prosper Insight and Analytics, more than 125 million Americans plan to celebrate the Irish holiday and are expected to spend an average of $35.37 per person, down slightly from last year’s $36.52. 

Total spending for the March 17 holiday is expected to reach $4.4 billion based on U.S. population 18 and older.

Total Spending

125 million Americans plan to celebrate, spending a total $4.4 billion

NRF St. Patrick's Day Survey conducted by Prosper Insights.

"Retailers expect to see a nice boost in sales as consumers head to stores looking for apparel, decorations."

Matthew Shay

“Retailers expect to see a nice boost in sales as consumers head to stores looking for apparel, decorations, food and beverages to help make their St. Patrick’s Day celebrations special,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “With the winter holidays behind us and spring flowers starting to bloom, St. Patrick’s Day provides a perfect opportunity for Americans to get together to celebrate with friends and family.”

Fans of St. Patrick’s Day plan to celebrate in a number of ways. According to the survey, 82.1 percent will wear green to show their Irish pride, 31.3 percent plan to make a special dinner, 28.7 percent will head to a party at a bar or restaurant and 21.1 percent will attend a private party. In addition, 22.8 percent plan to decorate their homes or offices in an Irish theme.

According to the survey, 56.5 percent of those celebrating will purchase food and beverages, 28 percent will buy apparel or accessories, 23.3 percent will buy decorations and 17.2 percent will buy candy.

Celebration Plans

St. Patrick's Day is especially popular among younger consumers

NRF St. Patrick's Day Survey 2016 conducted by Prosper Insights.

The survey asked for the first time where consumers will make their St. Patrick’s Day purchases. More than a third, 36.2 percent, plan to do so at a grocery store, 30.4 percent at discount stores and 20.8 percent at bars and restaurants.

“St. Patrick’s Day isn’t a holiday for giving gifts, but it is a time for inexpensive and fun celebrations that make it easy for consumers of any age and on any budget to take part in the festivities,” Prosper’s Pam Goodfellow said. “Whether they’re heading to a parade, cooking an Irish meal or joining friends at a bar or restaurant, consumers will take the opportunity to get festive and celebrate.”

The holiday is most popular among individuals 18-24 years old with 70.1 percent celebrating but those 25-34 years old will be the biggest spenders at an average $42.58.

The survey of 7,108 consumers was conducted February 2-9 and 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

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.