The Easter Bunny is getting pinched this year

Tighter family budgets mean fewer Peeps, chocolate eggs and bonnets. Shoppers say they'll be looking for bargains.

By Aimee Picchi Mar 19, 2013 11:26AM

Stock photo of a bunny against a polkadotted background (© Cavan Images/Getty Images)With consumers hit by higher payroll taxes and feeling squeezed by a jump in gas prices this year, the Easter Bunny is getting shortchanged. 

Retailers can expect the average Easter celebrator to spend $145.13 on candy, decorations, clothing and food, down a tick from $145.28 last year, according to a study from the National Retail Federation. 

Even though it's a small shave for Easter spending, it's not good news for retailers already worried about consumers' tight wallets. Executives at Wal-Mart (WMT) had already expressed concern about a "total disaster" in its February sales as payroll-tax increases hit consumers earlier this year. 

With shoppers watching their spending, almost two-thirds of families said they'll hit discount stores this Easter. Only 40% of those surveyed said they'd visit department stores such as Macy's (M), which tend to sell pricier clothing and home decor. 

"Look for cost-conscious parents to scope the sale racks, head to discounters, and clip coupons to keep spending on track," said Pam Goodfellow, director of BIGinsight Consumer Insights, which conducted the survey, in a statement. 

Nine out of 10 consumers plan to stock up on Easter candy, with families spending an average of almost $21 on chocolate, jelly beans and other goodies like Peeps and Mondeléz International's (MDLZ) Cadbury creme eggs.


The biggest portion of spending will go toward an Easter brunch or dinner, with most families spending an average of $45.26 on groceries for a holiday meal. 

About half of consumers will buy new spring clothing. But they won't have huge budgets for those bonnets: Families are earmarking only about $26 for new pastel-colored outfits. 

More on moneyNOW

Mar 19, 2013 1:09PM
I spend  $15 on candy for 3 kids, clothes 9.50  for 2 tops  my boy has new clothes from graduation,most of the time i go second hand. Tha baskets use the same ones every year and fot Easter dinner included with my groceries   Tatal  $25     :  )
Mar 19, 2013 6:06PM

Celebrate with family dinner. Kids don't need all that crappy candy. My grands get $2 a piece as we are on limited income.



Mar 19, 2013 4:15PM
Wal-Mart sells crap. Most of the chocolate is fake. Of course they are worried.
Mar 19, 2013 9:07PM

Holidays are fake, capitalism driven events designed to separate you from your money.  Look at a calendar......every month some *special event* happens in which you are told you must spend money in order to "celebrate".  The only month without a holiday is August...which doesn't need one, thanks to "back-to-school".

Holidays are a luxury and nobody does them bigger and better than people with an EBT card.

Mar 19, 2013 3:51PM
How about getting off your lazy butt and simply going to church and forget all the nonsense about eggs, Easter Bunnies and chocolate rabbits made in China?     It amazes me how much crap Chrstians have to add to their religious festivals to get people interested.    What could a chocolate rabbit have to do with some poor Jewish guy getting nailed to a pole?   Christians are pathetic.
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