Easter Spending to Rise as Spring Fashions, Candy Lure Shoppers

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Chocalate Easter bunnies and spring fashionIt appears shoppers will be buying a lot more brightly colored outfits and chocolate bunnies this Easter.

Americans will shell out about $145.28 each on everything from candy and food to clothing for the holiday, up 11% from $131.04 last spring, according to a survey by the National Retail Federation. Total spending on the holiday is projected to hit $16.8 billion.

Indeed, 48.5% of the 9,242 consumers polled said they'll shop stores' spring sales for colorful frocks and fashion accessories, planning to spend about 21% more than last year, the survey said.

"Unseasonably warm weather has played a great role in consumers' appetite for purchasing apparel," Kathy Grannis, an NRF spokeswoman, tells DailyFinance.

The American sweet tooth is also growing: Spending on candy will rise to about $20.35, compared to $18.55 in 2011.

And consumers will also increase spending on Easter meals: $44.34, compared to $40.05 last year.

As for where they'll shop for Easter-related purchases? A large fraction will hit the department stores -- more than four in 10 shoppers, or 42.6%, the highest percentage in the survey's history, the NRF says.

Also, no surprise, a rising number of people will shop online: An estimated 18.7% will hit the web for Easter finds, up from 14.8% last year.

But the lion's share of holiday purchases -- 63.5% -- will be made at local discount stores.

Here's some of the spring fashions retailers are playing up this season.

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Easter Spending to Rise as Spring Fashions, Candy Lure Shoppers

1. Target's (TGT) Mossimo Supply Co. Racerback Dress, $18, in orange stripes reflects the citrus hues that are hot this spring.

2. Macy's (M) is picking up on the popular bright-colored bottoms fashion trend with these exclusive Else Denim skinny jeans, $68, in a bold blue wash.

3. J.C. Penney's (JCP) Call It Spring preppy handbag, $40, builds on the color-blocking trend seen on the runway during New York Fashion Week last month.

4. Sears' (SHLD) spring fashion mix includes these Kardashian Kollection Geo print jumpers, $99, from its exclusive line by the reality show sisters.

5. Kmart's Sofia by Sofia Vergara collection from the Modern Family star includes this tangerine semi-sheer blouse for $24.99.

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