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Nevadans expected to spend less on Easter festivities

Updated April 15, 2022 - 8:40 am

Retailers in Nevada can expect a dip in Easter-related sales this year compared with last year.

Nevadans are projected to spend $333.5 million over the Easter holiday, according to the Retail Association of Nevada.

Nationwide, total Easter holiday spending is projected to fall by 3.7 percent from last year to $20.8 billion, the release from RAN said. Celebrants are projected to spend an average of $169.79 on holiday items, down 5.5 percent from the average $179.70 spent in 2021.

The spending estimates are based on a recent survey by the National Retail Federation, which found that 80 percent of consumers nationwide plan to celebrate the holiday this year.

Nevada retailers are eager for Easter-related business despite concerns over inflation and lingering supply chain interruptions, said Bryan Wachter, RAN’s senior vice president.

“Retailers are working with their suppliers to find ways to help keep prices affordable for Nevada families,” he said in a news release, “and we are optimistic for a strong spring and summer season ahead, even if this year’s celebrations don’t reach some of the record high spending set during the pandemic.”

Easter spending is difficult to predict this year, DiBella Flowers and Gifts owner John DiBella said Tuesday. He suggested inflation may have customers prioritizing putting food, not flowers, on the table.

DiBella said he’s busy and his phones are ringing, but his shop’s Easter business has wilted in recent years as customer desires have changed. DiBella Flowers, near Rancho Drive and West Charleston Boulevard, still does plenty of floral arrangement deliveries, but customers now tend to eschew smaller orders like traditional corsages that mothers often wear at church for the “nicer, bigger, prettier things,” he said.

“It’s not quite as big a family holiday as it used to be,” DiBella said.

The national retail group found candy as the most popular spending category with 90 percent of the 8,155 people surveyed saying they planned to spend $48.1 million. Food was the second popular category with 80 percent of respondents planning to spend a total of $105.9 million. Other top categories included gifts (63 percent), clothing (49 percent) and decorations (48 percent). About 46 percent of those surveyed planned to buy greeting cards and 41 percent planned to buy flowers.

The most popular activity for people celebrating Easter is cooking a holiday meal (56 percent) followed by visiting family or friends (51 percent), attending in-person church services (37 percent) and an Easter egg hunt (32 percent), according NRF.

The retail trade group reported COVID-19 concerns continue to cloud holiday plans, but not as much as last year. Its survey results suggested 13 percent of respondents would have virtual visits with loved ones, a decrease from 24 percent last year. About 12 percent of those surveyed would attend virtual church compared with 22 percent in 2021.

The owner of Sugar Shop and The Olive Branch in Container Park said he expects a busy weekend. Spring break, and spring itself, has been great for both of Scott Wurth’s businesses.

Wurth said his candy store typically does well around Easter. He doesn’t stock his shelves to the brim with Easter candy, as “it’s not a super long holiday.” Still, he does carry gummy bunnies and other similar candies that can sell regardless of the holiday.

“It’s busy every weekend for three months, but (Easter) certainly does help,” Wurth said.

Wurth expects Sunday will be a particularly busy day. A favorable weekend weather forecast, Californians heading into town and a recent uptick in international business bodes well for the candy store, he said.

“Every day, I’m hearing more and more accents, which is really nice,” Wurth said.

DiBella said his flower shop, in business for 38 years, often sold hundreds of Easter lilies in previous years. Now, it’s a decent week if he sells 50. He attributes the decline to mass retailers buying up blooming plants.

Though DiBella wishes his Easter business was stronger, he said his company is adjusting to meet customer demand and business has generally rebounded since COVID-19 restrictions lifted.

“We’ve served the public in the best way that we can for all these different years, and we have always tried to give people what they want from the least expensive to the most expensive,” DiBella said.

A previous version of this story had incorrect estimates for Easter holiday spending in Nevada.

Contact Mike Shoro at mshoro@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5290. Follow @mike_shoro on Twitter.

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