For the first time since 1940, St. Patrick’s Day falls during Holy Week, the seven days before Easter that many religious Americans consider to be sacred.
The holiday collision is likely to hamper spending.
“Retailers and restaurants that benefit from the St. Patrick’s Day holiday are up against a double whammy of an early Easter and the holiday falling on a Monday,” said NRF President and CEO Tracy Mullin. “With the holiday just six days before Easter, many retailers are finding that they don’t have enough space on their shelves to promote shamrocks and Easter bunnies at the same time.”
According to the National Retail Federation’s 2008 St. Patrick’s Day Consumer Intentions and Actions survey, consumers will spend an estimated $3.64 billion on St. Paddy’s Day, less than last year’s $3.76 billion.
Though the average person will spend slightly more on the holiday than they did last year ($35.04 vs. $34.89), fewer people will be celebrating this year (46 percent in 2008 vs. 48 percent in 2007).
In fact, because of the calendar shift, some cities are moving their city celebrations to March 14, the Friday before St. Patrick’s Day.