More people will cook out on the 4th of July this year than last — 60 percent vs. 48.8 percent last year, according to the National Retail Federation´s 2006 Independence Day Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey. (Geez, you´d think they could come up with a snappier name.)
In fact, the whole darned holiday promises to be more festive this year than last. (The survey didn´t indicate what we all were so down about last year.) Slightly more than 91 million people this year plan either to set off some fireworks or watch a fireworks show at a community party, up from 77.7 million a year ago. And 22.9 million Americans will travel or take an Independence Day vacation in 2006, up from only 18.6 million in 2005.
Twenty-five million celebrating consumers expect to buy patriotic goods for the holiday, and more than a quarter of the people polled (28.4 percent) say they´ll take advantage of special sales and promotions over the long weekend. (Ah, my kind of people — any excuse for shopping works for me.)
July 4th shoppers will head to discount stores, 39.8 percent; department stores, 34.5 percent; online retailers, 14.6 percent; speciality stores (greeting card/gift stores and electronics stores), 12.6 percent; and specialty clothing stores, 10.2 percent.
Break out the red, white and blue. It sounds as if there are plenty of Yankee Doodle Dandies ready to rock in America this year.