Easter sales give clothing sellers reason to welcome spring

Easter sales give clothing sellers reason to welcome spring

Despite the fact that 2016 brings an early Easter with the holiday coming just a week after the first day of spring, consumers are still expected to celebrate with special meals, new spring clothing, gifts, flowers and other purchases, according to a survey recently released by the National Retail Federation (NRF).  

Easter spending this year is expected to reach a 13-year high of $17.3 billion or $146 per person nationally, reports NRF, a national association of retail businesses such as grocers, department stores, restaurants, home goods stores and other enterprises. The figures represent a significant increase from last year’s $140.62 per person and $16.4 billion total.†

According to the survey, approximately $3 billion will be spent on Easter clothing, especially clothing for children—the second highest spending category—as families prepare for holiday outings. The survey indicated that 57.8 percent will visit family and friends, 51.3 percent will go to church and 15.6 percent will go to a restaurant. 

The tradition of dressing children in fancy new spring outfits for Easter provides an annual boost to businesses such as Happy Land, a Doraville company selling special occasion clothing for children. 

 “We do have retail sales, but most of our business is wholesale,” said Hae Park, owner of Happy Land. “We sell to department stores, mostly in small towns—not just here in Georgia, but also in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Florida, Alabama—really all over the United States.” 

He said orders have been coming in briskly this year. While Happy Land also offers children’s clothing for weddings, pageants, christenings and other special occasions, sales at Easter are especially strong, according to Park.

Happy Land first opened as a small shop in downtown Atlanta 27 years ago. It now sells more than a million children’s outfits each year, Park said. The business has been on Buford Highway in Doraville for the past 25 years.

While girls’ dresses are the most popular items, the business also carries accessories such as shoes, underwear, purses and jewelry. It offers a line of boys’ suits, including tuxedoes, and infant clothing as well. 

“We believe that a dress shop should have everything customers need for their children’s special day in affordable and high quality products,” the Happy Land website states. The store offers clothing for children through age 14.

Park, who moved to the United States from his native Korea 35 years ago, said he went into the children’s clothing business on the recommendation of a friend who has a similar business in Baltimore. It has remained a family business with Park’s wife, sons and other family members making up most of the office staff.

While fashions come and go, lacy, frilly girls’ dresses continue to be big sellers, Park said. “We go to the trade shows where we choose our merchandise, and this is what we see,” he noted. “Mothers still like to dress their little girls in satin, organza, taffeta and other fancy materials. Pastels and bright colors continue to sell well for spring. Parents like seeing their little boys in suits and ties, looking like little gentlemen. We are proud to offer high-quality clothing that parents are unlikely to find other places.” Park said. 

NRF states that consumers at all budget levels are likely to spend extra at Easter. The highest spending category is food, for which Americans are expected to spend $5.5 billion this Easter. Other major categories are gifts—$2.7 billion; candy—$2.4 billion; and flowers $1.2 billion.

NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay states that Easter is “the beginning one of [retailers’] busiest times of year.” In addition to Easter buying, consumers tend to shop for other lighter clothing, sports equipment, garden tools and home goods for outdoor use as the weather turns warmer.



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