2012 St. Patrick's Day Spending to Reach $4.6B

Talk about the luck o’ the Irish – St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Saturday this year and will likely bring with it a boost in retail sales and celebrations across the country. Although St. Patrick’s Day is the smallest of all the consumer holidays in terms of how much consumers will spend, it’s still of tremendous importance for the industry. 

For many consumers, St. Patrick’s Day is the official kick-​off to Spring – typically a time when many people start stocking up on warm weather apparel, patio and garden merchandise and even home accents, like candles, throw pillows and new bed sets.  And with spring-​like weather currently blanketing much of the country, consumers are already indicating they are in the mood for a bit o’ fun as well.

According to BIGinsight’s St. Patrick’s Day spending survey, 54.4% of Americans say they will celebrate the traditionally Irish holiday this year, the most in the survey’s nine-​year history. Overall, the average person will spend about $35 on the holiday, totaling $4.6 billion. Download the complete survey here.

When asked how they will celebrate, eight in 10 will aim to avoid the traditional pinch by simply wearing green. However, nearly three in 10 will attend a party at a bar or restaurant, hoping to indulge in the likes of green beverages, corned beef and cabbage and some rum raisin rice pudding. Nearly one-​third will stay in and make a special dinner at home.

BIGinsight’s Consumer Insights Director Pam Goodfellow says, “As a non gift-​giving holiday, St. Patrick’s Day really brings out the fun in consumers every year, knowing they can splurge on gimmicky accessories like pins and buttons for their clothes and even home decor items to put their entire family in a festive spirit.”

[Source:  "2012 St. Patrick's Day Spending Survey."  BIGinsight/​National Retail Federation (NRF).  6 Mar. 2012.  Web.  9 Mar. 2012.]