Spring Arrives and Easter Comes Early This Year

Posted by Anna Keagy on March 22, 2016

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Flowers are blooming, trees are starting to get tiny new leaves and the grass is turning green again. Spring has arrived, and it is glorious! With the arrival of spring, Easter is not far behind. In fact, Easter is quite early this year, only a week after the first day of spring. It may catch many by surprise, as it coincides with the end of spring break for many schools—something that isn’t typically the case. What does an earlier than normal Easter mean for retailers and the rest of us?

Easter & Retail

For many retailers, the early Easter date presents a challenge as they don’t want to be left with excess inventory that is no longer relevant. As a result, ECRM predicted some retailers may choose to focus more on “spring” promotions rather than “Easter” promotions to extend the selling window. ECRM also suggested that retailers focus on leveraging products that have festive packaging but that aren’t holiday-specific so that they are still relevant after Easter.

Retailers want to get it right because Easter is an important time of year for stores. U.S. consumers are expected to spend $17.3 billion on Easter this year, according to the National Retail Foundation (NRF)’s 2016 Easter survey. This is a 13-year survey high, up from last year’s $16.4 billion.

According to the NRF report, 80.6 percent of American adults celebrate Easter. Of those who celebrate, 85.6 percent said they would purchase food for a family meal or other festivity and 86.4 percent said they would buy candy. Forty-six percent planned to purchase greeting cards and 45.3 percent planned to purchase clothing. Other popular items include gifts, flowers and decorations.

Speaking of clothing, who can resist these adorable baby Easter dresses? Even if you don’t have children to buy cute new outfits for, many adults love the opportunity for a fresh new look for spring. Easter is the perfect time to try out a new outfit!

Easter Dates & Activities

Some may wonder why the date of Easter changes each year in the first place. It can fall anywhere from March 22 to April 25. According to the Bible, Jesus’ death and resurrection occurred around the time of the Jewish Passover. In 325 the Council of Nicaea established that Easter would be held the first Sunday after the first full moon occurring on or after the vernal equinox. All the specifics get complicated, but typically Easter falls around the same time as Passover. Occasionally, it can be a month before Passover, though, as is the case this year.

As Easter is one of the most significant holidays in the Christian faith, many people will attend church on Easter—not only regular attenders but many people who don’t attend on a consist basis. In fact, more Americans Google search for “church” around Easter than any other time of the year, with Christmas season typically coming in second. NRF found that around half of those who celebrate Easter planned to attend church (51.3 percent).

Other popular activities for Easter include visiting with friends and family (57.8 percent), cooking a holiday meal (55.6 percent) or planning an Easter egg hunt (31.4 percent).

How are you celebrating? Have you done your shopping? How is Easter 2016 different than years past?

However you're celebrating, we wish you a happy spring and happy Easter!

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Topics: Consumer Insights, trends