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US clothing spend to hit decade high this Easter

US spending on clothing is expected to hit its highest level in a decade this Easter, with its later timing this year giving consumers almost an entire extra month to shop.

Spending for Easter, which is three weeks later this year than last, is expected to reach US$18.4bn, up 6% over last year's record $17.3bn – a new all-time high in the survey's 14-year history, according to the National Retail Federation's annual survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics.

Those celebrating plan to spend an average of $152 per person, up 4% from last year's previous record of $146.

Clothing is forecast to be the second highest category for spend, the figures show, at $3.3bn. Food tops the list at $5.8bn. The 50% of consumers planning to buy clothing is up from 45% last year and is the highest level in a decade, while the $3.3bn spend is up 9% from last year.

NRF forecasts around 58% of consumers will head to discount stores, 46% will go to department stores and 26% will shop at local small businesses. In addition, 27% will shop online, up from 21% last year. Among smartphone owners, 28% will research products on their devices while 18% will use their phones to make a purchase, while another 9% will use apps to do their research or purchase products.

"Most consumers have almost an entire extra month to shop for Easter this year, and by the time the holiday comes the weather should be significantly warmer than last Easter," says NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay.

"That should put shoppers in the frame of mind to splurge on spring apparel along with Easter decorations. With the economy improving, consumers are ready to shop and retailers are ready to offer great deals whether they're buying Easter baskets or garden tools."

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