Independence Day celebrations will be closer to home this year, thanks to sky-high gas prices. If your store sells items that will enhance a backyard barbecue, then you may benefit from the Fourth of July.
Nearly 60 percent of consumers say that increased gas prices will impact their spending for the upcoming holiday, compared with 42.1 percent who said so last year. The National Retail Federation (NRF) Consumer Intentions and Actions survey reveals that 200 million Americans have little faith that gas prices have stabilized. On average, consumers expect a gallon of fuel will cost them $4.39 on July 4. (Ouch!)
NRF CEO Tracy Mullins says that retailers are aware of the strain gas prices are having on checkbooks and that they will be offering special promotions on food and beverages for the millions of Americans planning a barbecue.
Nearly two-thirds of consumers say they either will fire up a grill at home or attend a cookout or barbecue on the Fourth. Another 40.2 percent plan to watch a fireworks display while 10.5 percent will go to a parade and 11.2 percent will take a vacation.
Many Americans already own flags and other patriotic items, including apparel and decorations. Sixteen percent said they had purchased additional patriotic merchandise this month compared with 17.3 percent who expected to a year ago.
Even though gas prices are putting a serious strain on pocketbooks and wallets, Americans apparently will find a way to celebrate the nation’s birthday next week. When gas prices are at record highs, there seems to be no place like home.