Here come the Leprechauns

Retailers and restaurants might have a little more luck o’ the Irish this St. Patrick’s Day as consumers gear up for private parties and special outings to celebrate the Irish holiday. According to NRF’s 2010 St. Patrick’s Day poll of 8,560 consumers, conducted by BIGresearch, celebrants will spend an average of $33.05 on decorations, party favors and green attire, up slightly from $32.80 last year. Total spending is expected to reach $3.44 billion.

Of those planning on celebrating, eight out of 10 (80.8 percent) will simply put on their brightest green tie or sweater, but others want to have a bit more fun - nearly three out of 10 (29.6 percent) will attend a party at a bar or restaurant. Another third will stay at home and cook a traditional meal (33.3 percent). However, it seems the real interest this year is in heading to a private party (18.9 percent vs. 16.7 percent in 2009) or decorating a home or office (23.3 percent vs. 21.8 percent last year.)

“With limited budgets for their discretionary expenditures, partygoers will look for inexpensive ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day this year,” said Phil Rist, Executive Vice President, Strategic Initiatives, BIGresearch. “Private parties are a great way to save money as friends and family can share all the costs.”

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!