By Jim Donovan:  St. Patrick’s Day doesn’t exactly rank among the top holidays when it comes to retail spending.  In fact, it’s the smallest. But the National Retail Federation finds that more than half of Americans will celebrate the day this year, spending about $35 dollars per person, and ringing up about $4.6 billion dollars in sales.  

That’s leprechaun in size compared to holiday spending in December — which was expected to top $469 billion dollars this past year.  But for retailers, St. Patrick’s Day can be considered a gateway to spring. If shoppers are more likely to spread a little green on the wearing of the green, they may be in a mood to spend on other items to use as the weather gets warmer — like outdoor furniture, gardening items, and maybe a new spring wardrobe. 

Three in ten Americans surveyed said they’ll head out to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, which falls on a Saturday this year, an added bonus for bars and restuarants.  While eight in ten will simply wear green and nearly one-third will stay at home and make special dinner. 

As a reminder be sure to tune in this Sunday, March 11 at 1 p.m. as we broadcast live the Philadelphia St. Patrick’s Day Parade on our sister station, the CW Philly.   I’ll be joining my CBS 3 colleagues Chris May, Natasha Brown, Nicole Brewer, and Katie Fehlinger on the CBS 3 float along with the guys from the Jamison Celtic Band.   Good weather, good music and a good time are expected by all!

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