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Consumers to spend record $17.3 billion Easter weekend, retailers say

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Easter shoppers are expected to spend nearly $150 each this weekend for a record-busting $17.3 billion in holiday sales.

According to a survey released by the National Retail Federation Monday, consumers will spend $146 a piece celebrating the Christian holiday, the highest total in the survey’s 13-year history.

“This time of year means the arrival of good weather and good moods across Florida as consumers buy gifts, food and decorations to celebrate Easter with family and friends,” Florida Retail Federation President Randy Miller said. “People also use this weekend to purchase supplies and essentials for the spring season, meaning increased sales for retailers.”

Easter dinner was the most popular way to celebrate the holiday among survey respondents, with food purchases pegged at $5.5 billion, though NRF also expects retailers to sell $3 billion in clothing, $2.7 billion in gifts, $2.4 billion of candy and $1.2 billion worth of flowers.

“Those stores that price and market their merchandise aggressively, and embrace the online shopping experience, will see the biggest sales,” Miller said. “There is significant opportunity for retailers this weekend as consumers look for Easter gifts as well as spring supplies.”

About 58 percent of respondents said they’ll do part of their shopping discount stores such as Target and Wal-Mart, and 41 percent stated that they’ll hit up department stores for their Easter supplies. A quarter of respondents said they’d peruse local businesses during their shopping trip.

About a fifth of those polled said they won’t make it to a store this weekend, and will instead make their purchases online.

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for SaintPetersBlog and While at the University of Florida, Wilson was an editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and after graduation, he moved to Los Angeles to cover business deals for The Hollywood Reporter. Before joining Extensive Enterprises, Wilson covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools.

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