WASHINGTON – Today, more than 139 million Americans of all nationalities plan to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, spending more than ever before on the holiday, according to the National Retail Federation’s annual survey. Spending for St. Patrick’s Day was expected to reach $5.3 billion, an all-time high in the survey’s 13-year history.
Consumers are expected to spend an average of $37.92 per person, up from last year’s $35.37 and a new record that tops the previous high of $36.52 set in 2015. The $5.3 billion total is up dramatically from last year’s $4.4 billion and tops the previous record of $4.8 billion set in 2014.
“Now that winter is almost behind us and with St. Patrick’s Day falling on a Friday, more Americans [will get] together to celebrate with friends and family,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said, in a press release. “Retailers should expect a nice boost in sales as consumers purchase apparel, decorations, food and beverages to help make their celebrations special.”
According to the survey, 83% of celebrants will wear green to show their Irish pride, 31% plan to make a special dinner and 27% will head to a party at a bar or restaurant. The survey found that 52% of celebrants will purchase food, 41% beverages, 28% apparel or accessories, 22% decorations and 14% will buy candy.
“St. Patrick’s Day is a time for consumers of all ages to have fun and celebrate all things Irish whether it is attending a parade, cooking an Irish meal, or meeting friends at a bar or restaurant,” Prosper Insights Principal Analyst Pam Goodfellow said. “While more Americans are planning to celebrate the shamrock-filled day, expect millennials to take the lead among the festivities.”