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Consumer Trends

Patriotism will shine brightly this Independence Day

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With Osama bin Laden no longer a threat, Americans' patriotic spirit will be on full display this Fourth of July. According to a new survey, millions of celebrants will make Uncle Sam proud this year by wearing patriotic clothing, watching fireworks, attending parades, or hosting a cookout.

NRF's annual Independence Day survey, conducted by BIGresearch, should give retailers a reason to celebrate. This year, 20.1% of consumers will buy patriotic merchandise, up from 16.2% last year. And, though the summer heat is upon us, 64.4% of celebrants will host or attend a cookout or picnic, up from 61.9% last year.  When it comes to other traditional celebrations,  nearly half (44.7%) plan to watch fireworks or attend a community celebration.

Shopping and admiring fireworks won't be the only items on the "to-do" list for many families: more are also planning on traveling or taking a vacation. Despite high gas prices, 31 million people will pack up their beach gear, sunscreen, visors, flip flops and shorts for a summer getaway, up from 27 million people who took advantage of the three-day weekend last year.

A renewed sense of pride is also evident by the patriotic merchandise found in many American households. In 2011, nearly 126 million people said they have a flag, up from 124 million in 2010. Eighty-nine million have U.S.-themed apparel, up from 86 million last year, and the number of people who own patriotic decor also increased significantly from 2010 (62 million vs. 56 million last year).

2011 Independence Day - How Consumers plan to celebrate