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Spring Apparel, Easter Candy Sales Estimated At $17 Billion [AUDIO]

The mild winter and early spring-like weather has people in the mood to shop for Easter merchandise.  That’s according to a new survey by the National Retail Federation which finds that Americans will shell out an average of $145 on everything from clothing to food to candy and decorations this year.  Total spending is expected to reach $16.8 billion.

Ralph Orlowski, Getty Images

“We’re expecting people to be shopping for Easter gifts and items at discount stores first and foremost.  Four in ten also plan to visit department stores,” said Ellen Davis Senior Vice President of the National Retail Federation.  “Easter has always been a fairly large apparel holiday especially with children’s clothes because a lot of parents buy their kids new Easter clothing for church.”

“The average person will be spending about 26 dollars on clothing, 20 dollars on candy, about 45 dollars on a meal or some kind of an Easter gather with family and friends,” said Davis.  “As far as retailers who will really benefit from the Easter holiday, it runs the gamut because you see discount stores selling candy, food and clothing, but department stores also benefit because people will be buying clothes for their kids and themselves.”

Online retailers will see the biggest jump in traffic this year.  Nearly two in five, 18.7 percent, will shop online, up from 14.8 percent last year and just 11.1 percent in 2008.  Others will shop at specialty stores for jewelry, electronics and flowers.

“Even though Easter is three weeks earlier this year than last year, many people feel that because the spring came so early and the winter was so mild that Easter should have come and gone already.  A lot of people have been looking forward to officially celebrating the beginning of spring with Easter Sunday because many of us have been experiencing very nice temperatures for quite a while.”

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