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HOT MARKETS

St. Patrick’s Spending to Reach $4.8 Billion

A robust 55% of Americans, or 133 million people are planning to indulge in the Irish spirit on Thursday according to the National Retail Federation’s St. Patrick’s Day consumer survey conducted by Prosper Insights and Analytics. On average, they’ll spend $35 in grocery stores, restaurants and stores selling green merchandise. Although not as high-profile as other holidays, there are plenty of opportunities for brands to celebrate St. Paddy’s Day.

As well as the usual suspects for merchandising—Irish whisky and beer brands such as Guinness, which has resumed its sponsorship of New York City’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade thanks to the inclusion of gay-friendly marchers—sports and entertainment brands are not to be left out. Fanatics and FansEdge are offering a collection of branded green-themed t-shirts, apparel and hats from the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and colleges and universities. Novelty plush branded by classic characters from Disney, Hello Kitty and even Angry Birds are gracing shelves.

And not to be outdone, the New York City Saint Patrick’s Day Parade has three dedicated online stores—for pins and novelties, apparel and photos. It’s interesting to note that although plenty of government agencies, colleges and universities and non-profits are marching, none are offering event-specific merchandise on this green day.

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